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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fragile Dreams by Karen Cogan



Fragile Dreams by Karen Cogan
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Historical, Inspirational
Length: Full (160 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

The Civil war unleashes a bitter battle near Caroline's home--and in her heart. Parentless, and with a young brother to tend, Caroline blames God and the Yankees for her difficulties. Then, she finds a wounded Union soldier lying in her lawn, and her world is turned upside-down...

Shot and left for dead, Nate thanks God for the Confederate angel who takes him in and nurses him back to health, but dreams of taking her West with him after the war are dampened by her Southern alliances and hardened heart.

Will the war pull them apart, or can Nate's faith bind them together?

One by one, she was losing the people closest to her and perhaps, her home as well.

The battles have been intense near the plantation home of Caroline. With her mother and father both passed away, her brother off fighting in the war, Caroline feels responsible for the care of her grandmother and her little brother Andrew. Caroline has lost her faith and blames God and the Yankee’s for the problems she is having.

Off on the back part of her land three Yankee soldiers are shot. One survives and finds his way to Caroline’s home. Shot and left for dead Nate thanks God for the confederate angel. Through the help with her grandmother they tend to this injuries. Andrew does not want him in the house, but pleads with his sister not to turn him in. What has made Andrew so upset? And why does he not want him turned over to the sheriff.

Jed, the local sheriff, injured in the war, has become very bitter and is set to kill any Yankee whether he is in uniform or not. As he pressure Caroline more and more to marry him. As she keeps putting him off she finds out things about it that helps her make up her mind that he is not for her.

As her faith grows once again as does her affection for Nate, can it work out for them? Will her brother make it back from the war? What about the rumors going around town that she has been seen with a Yankee.

This is a well written historical novel, that keeps the reader interested. The author writes descriptively, as she must to have a good historical novel. The characters were wonderfully drawn, and the plot superb. This story shows that with faith you can overcome all obstacles. We also see clearly that there is good and bad in all situations and people, regardelss of whether they are from the North or the South. If you're a fan of American historicals, you won't go wrong by picking up this book to read!



Reluctant Witness by Rachel Brimble



Reluctant Witness by Rachel Brimble
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full (224 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Larkspur

Professional singer Julia Kershaw is leaving town and moving on with her life. She desperately needs an escape from her mother’s grief over the loss of Julia’s brother--shot and killed by an overzealous cop--and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to believe it's over. But when she becomes the sole witness to the murder of a man she's known all her life, how can she leave until the killer is found? And how can she work with a cop after everything the police put her family through? When Detective Inspector Daniel Conway is removed from the city chaos he thrives on, and sent to a sleepy seaside town, the last thing he expects is to catch a murder case. With an impeccable record he intends to keep that way, for personal as well as professional reasons, he refuses to allow his very beautiful, sexy--and secretive--witness to walk away from his case. Or him.

Reluctant Witness will blow you out of the water. When you add together one hot cop, one sexy club singer, and murder in an idealistic costal town it adds up to sparks flying like fireworks in a night sky. And that’s what you get with this delightful read.

From the first time Ms. Brimble brings together our hero and heroine who are thrown together in a murder investigation there is instant sexual tension which increases until the inevitable explosive love scene. She gives us equally interesting supporting characters and great villains. We readers are gifted with the author’s wonderful descriptive dialogue with a refreshing bit of Queen’s English that puts an international flair to this over seas adventure. We get page after page of action and a great detective story. The romance between our main characters is sweet and sensual and Rachel has a wonderful way of telling it.

This novel will appeal to all lovers of great Contemporary Romantic Suspense, who can’t live without a wonderful “Who Done It”, who aren’t opposed to a bit of nail biting followed by sensual and sexy love scenes and drama that requires a few tissues. In other words this book’s for you!!



Kindle

Her Noble Destiny by Annie Marshall



Her Noble Destiny by Annie Marshall
Publisher: DCL Publications
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Short (65 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Stricken with grief after finding out his brother had died in battle; Aiden MacAlister devotedly takes care of both lands by traveling back and forth to his brother’s holdings and his own. Then one day on the road to Dunstaffnage Castle, he comes across a very naked woman crawling on her hands and knees towards the loch. Terrified for her safety, he calls out to her as he scrambles from his horse and snatches her into his arms just before she falls into the icy water.

Jaedin Greer, a captain and nurse in the United States Army was on a mission when her convoy was attacked and her Hum-V was hit by mortar fire and tossed it like a toy leaving it upside down. A bit shaken but alright, Jaedin cut herself loose then grabbed her pack of supplies to help her wounded medic. Once she dragged the soldier away from the wreckage, there was another loud explosion and bright flash of light, knocking her unconscious. The next thing she knew, it was raining and she couldn’t see. While crawling around to find her bearings, a set of large, strong arms encircled her, picking her up as if she weighed nothing while he asked if she was daft.

Could this woman be the antidote Aiden needs to help him find peace with his brother’s death? Can this Highland warrior see beyond his own burdens to be Jaedin’s much needed eyes? Will Jaedin, an ambitious modern day warrior allow this arrogant man close to her heart and find Her Noble Destiny?

She’s an Army nurse in a warzone. He’s a Scottish laird recovering from the loss of his brother. Who knew that 600 years, a Fae Queen, and circumstances beyond their control would bring them together? And what will happen when she can’t see her champion? She’ll learn Her Noble Destiny.

This is the second novella in the Destiny Series by Annie Marshall. As a reader, I’m not normally drawn into historicals, but this book held my attention until the last page. Not exactly a historical and not totally contemporary, Ms. Marshall’s work appeals to readers in both categories and leaves them begging for more.

I liked that her heroine, Jaedin was a strong woman, even when a physical disability could’ve brought her down. She persevered. Many women should take a page from her struggles. As for the hero, Aiden made a tasty alpha male. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted. I liked that he never gave up.

The scenes were rich with detail. You felt like you were truly in Scotland and in the desert with the characters. And the love scenes? Some writers struggle with passion in the love scenes. Not Ms. Marshall. Even when the characters aren’t together, you know that Aiden holds a strong fondness for Jaedin and vice versa.

If you want a new spin on the time-travel novella, filled with passion and unique characters, then Her Noble Destiny is the novella for you. I give this work 4 ½ books.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Obsession by Sharon Cullen


Obsession by Sharon Cullen
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Length: Full (156 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Tulip

A killer’s obsession could destroy their second chance for love.

A Love on the Edge romance.

Only a year ago, Officer Alex Juran and his wife Tess had it all. Love, a solid marriage and a baby on the way. Then in one heartbeat they lost everything.

Now, Tess is doing her best to move on. She has a thriving business and while she may be lonely at times, she’s proud of the new life she’s built without Alex.

Two days before their divorce is final, Alex is shot in the line of duty and left for dead. He faces a difficult recovery so Tess finds herself postponing the divorce and offering to care for him until he can live alone again.

At first, cohabitation is little more than combat. Alex’s incapacitating injuries, the looming divorce, and his inability to remember who shot him have him lashing out at the nearest target: Tess. When someone begins stalking her, he suspects his shooter has returned. Convinced that Tess is in danger, Alex becomes desperate to recover his strength.

Because no matter how much she’s hurt him in the past, they’ve been given a second chance—and he’ll do anything to protect his wife.

With her incredible writing skill, Ms. Cullen intrigues you with suspense and has you reading more and more, turning pages madly, the entire time biting your nails waiting for the next explosion to happen.

Tess and Alex fight each other and the evil around them until the very end. The conflict between them and the external conflict are skillfully weaved together, making this one truly exciting story on both front. The romance story is strong, the suspense is fantastic and I just couldn't get enough. Marriage isn’t easy for anyone and it sure isn’t easy for our hero and heroine, but they work through their problems and have a happily ever after that everyone dreams of having someday.

Between the hot and emotional love scenes and all the action going on around the characters, I'm willing to bet that you'll find it hard to put this book down. It’s a winner on all counts.


Kindle

Come Up and See Me Sometime by Lucy Monroe


Come Up and See Me Sometime by Lucy Monroe
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (310 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Like father, like daughter.
That’s what businessman Alex Trahern thinks about Isabel Harrison. If the prestigious headhunter thinks she can steal his top employee, just like her father stole his dad’s ideas, she’s dead wrong. Alex is always a man with a plan, and his plan is to get revenge on John Harrison through his daughter. But there’s no contingency plan for the impact Isabel’s sparkling green eyes and honey brown hair have on the decidedly non-business side of his brain…

If at first you don’t succeed, change the game.
After some relationship flameouts, Isabel’s decided to leave love out of it and approach her search for a husband like finding a suitable job candidate. And according to her list of requirements, Alex Trahern certainly has potential. He’s sexy. (Check.) Forceful and fascinating. (Check, check.) Also arrogant, obnoxious, and way too hot for her own good. (Erase. Start over.) Now, if only she could find out what he’s really after…

In a high-stakes game of love, attraction, and desire, two people playing for all the wrong reasons are about to discover how delicious it can be when plans go deliciously awry and love is all that matters.
She’s good at matching employees with employment opportunities. She’s not good at relationships. How to fix that? Make a list of potential qualities for a great mate. But then she meets the man of her dreams. Problem? He’s a business associate. When he says, Come Up and See Me Sometime, how’s a girl supposed to answer?

Lucy Monroe writes characters that the reader can identify with from page one. They aren’t perfect, which makes them easy to love. Come Up and See Me Sometime, is no exception. Her scenes are rich and draw the reader in. You want things to work out for these people. You grow along with them as he story progresses.

Alex is a great alpha hero. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to get it, until he sees Isabel. She’s his greatest challenge because she’s his match. She can go toe to toe with him and that scares him. It’s overwhelming to find that one who is your perfect compliment and then not to know what to do about it.

Ms. Monroe writes steamy love scenes that sizzle with passion. Even when they aren’t together, you know Alex and Isabel share strong feelings for each other. I never wanted the book to end.

If you want a sparkling novel with unforgettable characters, then Come Up and See Me Sometime is the book for you. I give this novel 4 ½ books.


A Conqueror's Destiny by Scarlett Sanderson


A Conqueror's Destiny by Scarlett Sanderson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal, Historical
Length: Short (52 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Hannibal Barca has waged a war against the Romans for countless years. Vengeance is his only path in life. As a fierce warrior, revered leader and feared general, Hannibal longs for a peaceful life; a family, a home and a loving wife. But fate has other plans for the man history has labeled 'the barbarian'. Cassandra is a mystic from the mythical realm of Parrius. Her homeland is the only barrier standing against the armies of Astra and the mortal plane. A peace loving race, if Parrius is to survive, Cassandra must journey through time and space to find a general worthy enough of leading her army. In a race against time Cassandra must convince Hannibal to return with her. What she couldn't foresee was the love she feels for Hannibal the Conqueror.

On this epic journey where the fate of the world rests in the hands of one man, Cassandra is forced to make a choice between love and destiny. There can only be one winner...
When love and destiny collide with Mortal history, then you have quite a mix. Beneath the hand of Scarlett Sanderson, you end up with a spicy concoction that will keep you warm, and your blood on the boil.

Mystic and spiritual warrior Cassandra intends to save her beloved Parrius from the marauding Tribes, and she knows just the man to help her. And Hannibal Barca is one viral man. Cassandra is torn between her loyalty to Parrius and her growing desires as a woman and the more time they spend together the less likely it is she’ll achieve her goal.

Hannibal’s sworn goal is to defeat his father’s murderers. Will the sudden appearance of the most beautiful and desirable woman he’s ever encountered distract Hannibal from achieving his goal? Hannibal and Cassandra face many conflicts and enemies, the biggest being their own ability to trust themselves and each other. Will Cassandra and Hannibal defy history, or are they destined to endure loneliness for ever?

This short story may travel across a few pages, but Scarlett manages to cover history and the emotions of Cassandra and Hannibal that many writers fail to achieve in stories four and six times the length of A Conqueror’s Destiny. This is a book well worth reading.

Friday, June 26, 2009

All Or Nothing by Ashley Elizabeth Ludwig


All Or Nothing by Ashley Elizabeth Ludwig
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Historical, Inspirational
Length: Full (308 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

A widow finds love.
A soldier seeks redemption.
A murderous bandit threatens to destroy them both.

RuthAnne Newcomb, a young widow starting over, nearly dies on the perilous winding road to Tucson, Arizona in 1876. The accident is a cover-up for a heinous crime at the hand of the murderous bandit El Tejano. Robbed and left for dead, all that remains for RuthAnne is her faith and her God-given talents. She needs both to endure the handsome, vengeful cavalry captain who saves her life.

Captain Bowen Shepherd offers aid in exchange for information leading to the criminal's capture. El Tejano is bound to strike again, likely against the only living witness to his crimes.

Bowen and RuthAnne must work together and risk everything to unmask the bandit. Will their newfound love, or their lives, be the cost of bringing a murderer to justice?
The year is 1876, and RuthAnne Newcomb, along with her sister Mara are headed to Tucson Arizona. After the loss of her husband a year earlier, there is nothing left for Ruth back in Alabama. With her sister to take care of they are headed out west, where employment awaits as a seamstress.

A accident on the narrow mountain road, the stagecoach going over the side, Mara and Ruth, narrowly escaping death see their possessions lying on the canyon floor. The accident is a cover-up for the stage coach robbery by one notorious robber El Tejano. Shot at and left for dead, rescued by the Army Captain Bowen Shepherd, can her sister and her et their life back together. With her strong faith in God.

And her talents they will survive. They know the bandit will strike again, and only Ruthanne can identify him,Working with the Captain will they find him first and bring him to justice or will he hunt down Ruth , the only living witness? Will the love they have found continue to grow between the Captain and Ruth.

This is a well written tender love story along with a little suspense and intrigue mixed into the plot. The characters are marvelous and you can’t help but like all of them. They are all a part of the story interwoven together. If you are a fan of Historical Western Romance as I am then you will not be the least disappointed in this book. I read this book in one day and it will be one that I will pull out and read again. Ms. Ludwig is a most proficient author and the inspiration shows up in her writing. I will be reading more of her books.



The Long Road Home by Lauren Sharman


The McCassey Brothers Book 4: The Long Road Home by Lauren N Sharman
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Violet

Nineteen-year-old Georgia survived four years of forced prostitution and drug addiction by clinging to the false hope that her brothers—unaware of her existence—would one day rescue her.

The last thing Blackie, Judd, and Rebel McCassey expect to discover when they catch a young girl loitering in front of their garage, is that she’s their younger, half-sister.

Immediately, they want to help Georgia overcome her addiction and bring her into the family fold, despite her adamancy that she isn’t good enough to be a McCassey.

Used to handling things their own way, the brothers soon realize that this time, they can’t fix things by throwing powerful right hooks, firing semi-automatic weapons, or simply saying, ‘no worries’.

This time, they need an outsider’s help.

But Georgia’s skeptical, and doubt consumes her as her strength and confidence falter.

Georgia knows her brothers will fight for her…but will she fight for herself?
Georgia has survived four years of forced prostitution at the hands of her father who also forced her to shoot up each time. Becoming addicted to drugs, Georgia can only hope that one day one of her brothers that her father speaks of constantly will come and save her. She makes it a point to search for them and that is exactly what she does. Blackie, Judd and Rebel McCassey are confronted by a nineteen year old girl who says she is their sister. Just one look at her and it is very obvious, she certainly has the McCassey blue eyes with the spirit to fight. Not knowing how to help their sister with her drug addiction, they call in an outsider to help them. Can Georgia really make her way back to being a normal teenage girl?

Georgia's character really spoke to me. She is a fighter and wants to better herself but has to go through hell to get there. The physical trauma she has to go through is written in a very vivid way that really gives you a feel for what she has to go through but she never gives up. Wade's character had me just wanting to hug him. He was so patient, understanding and kind. The chemistry between the McCassey brothers and Georgia really pulled on my heartstrings and I was captivated by the bond they all shared.

The Long Road Home was simply one of the best I have read. There were romantic undertones in the book but it focused on addiction, belonging and how hard it is to feel like you are worth something when you hit rock bottom. I read this book after reading the McCassey brothers trilogy and this was a perfect way to round out the family. I felt like I got to know the characters in a very intimate way. Ms. Sharman really nailed addiction and the feelings of those around you while you try to kick whatever habit it might be.

The Long Road Home was brilliantly written with intense feelings of both love and conflict. The action scenes were thrilling with a very well developed plot line that made the book an exciting, sit on the edge of your seat kind of book. I can't wait for the rest of the McCassey books to come out. I love this family and will miss them when the series is finished. Lauren N. Sharman is one of my new favorite authors and I would consider her an automatic add to my to be read list.



Kindle

The McCassey Brothers Trilogy by Lauren N. Sharman


The McCassey Brothers Trilogy Negabook by Lauren N. Sharman
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Violet

No Worries: Witnessing her mother's murder put a label on Gypsy Lance that few people overlooked. Raised in foster homes, she spent her childhood yearning for love and acceptance. Nearly penniless, she arrives in Hagerstown, Maryland looking to put down roots and outrun a past she fears is about to catch up to her...

Blue-collar, bad boy Rebel McCassey knows what it’s like to try and escape your past. No longer the hellion he once was, he's never been able to shake his family's bad reputation. When he finds Gypsy lost in the woods, her unconditional trust and refusal to judge him by his infamous last name touch Rebel in a place he didn't know existed...his heart.

When the demons chasing Gypsy are caught lurking in the shadows, Rebel vows to keep her safe, even if it means slipping back into his old ways.

The Devil’s Candy: Behind Angel Shelby’s dancing eyes and mischievous smile, lie the razor sharp tongue and fearless attitude that have helped her conceal painful secrets. However, they aren’t enough to save her this time—as she’s issued a shocking ultimatum.

Nicknamed, The Devil, Blackie McCassey’s violent past keeps most people exactly where he likes them…at a distance. Sacrificing his freedom to repay an old debt, he agrees to marry Angel in name only, watch over her, and play peacemaker in the uncivilized bar she runs.

Along with unexpected happiness, marriage brings surprises. Once wild and reckless, Blackie suddenly finds himself in the unfamiliar position of keeping someone else out of trouble…his wife.

When a murder occurs, Blackie’s forced to face his past one last time, risking his life to put an end to the chaos disrupting their lives. Unfortunately, victory comes at a price

Dusty Rose: Dusty Zamora and her close-knit sisters were young—but far from innocent—when they abruptly left Hagerstown, Maryland ten years ago. Now, Dusty has returned. Alone.

Judd McCassey spent most of his thirty-six years side-by-side with his brothers and cousins…on the wrong side of the law. His one regret…being powerless to help the only woman he ever loved when she needed it most. Judd knows they’re headed for trouble when Dusty rides back into his life on a stolen outlaw biker’s motorcycle, and is shocked when she refuses his help.

Finally realizing that hiding her deadly secrets are harming—not helping—the man she loves, Dusty opens up to Judd, dropping a bombshell that sends him reeling, and her fleeing.

Not until Dusty vanishes does Judd discover her deception was well-intended. Now, he must find her before it’s too late for all of them…
No Worries:
Gypsy had grown up living with the fact that everyone had labeled her since she witnessed her mother's murder. After all the foster homes she had been in and out of, Gypsy was looking to find a place where she could start over, somewhere no one would know her. Hagerstown was just that place. When she finds herself lost and confronted by a man who says she's on private property, Gypsy finds herself attracted to Rebel McCassey, one of the towns bad boys who comes from a family filled with nothing but badder boys! Rebel McCassey has always been the type of person to finish a fight, not start it and had forever been bailing his brothers and cousins out of trouble. Always labeled by those around him, Rebel is not one to judge anyone and is caught by surprise when he finds that Gypsy is not scared of him at all. In fact, Rebel finds himself wanting to protect Gypsy from everything even if it means he has to go back to his old ways.

The Chemistry between Gypsy and Rebel was intense and passionate. Rebel knew he had never felt this way before and Gypsy found herself taken with him the moment she met him. The way they were able to be open with each other and the security each felt with the other just had my heart. I loved how loyal and protective Rebel was with Gypsy and the action scenes when he had to protect her were out of this world. The ending was outstanding, amazing and thrilling. And yes, throughout this book, I did shed tears.

The Devil’s Candy
Angel Shelby was the kind of girl who told you like it was and didn't care what you thought about it. If you started a fight, you would most likely be looking down the wrong end of the barrel of a gun. Growing up in her brother, Digger's bar with no parents, Angel was as hardcore as they came. Blackie (the oldest McCassey brother) is an old friend of Digger, Angel's brother, so when he stops by one night and Angel just isn't acting right, Blackie knows something is up and intends to find out what. Due to circumstances, Digger calls in a favor from Blackie that states that Blackie will marry and take care of Angel. Not one to back down from a debt, he agrees to marry and to protect Angel while she runs the bar if, by some miracle, Digger can get Angel to agree. Blackie has met his match when he marries Angel and would risk his own life to save hers.

Blackie, oh my gosh, what can I say about Blackie? He is the dark, dangerous, volatile, quick tempered, sexy man that you always knew you wanted but knew you were too scared to actually be with. Blackie is fiercely protective of Angel and the lengths he will go to in order to keep her safe will shock you. Blackie and Angel were deeper than just physical attraction, they could read each other like a book and dealing with Blackie's temper and Angels shooting skills made this book an exciting read.

Dusty Rose
Ten years ago, Dusty Zamora had to urgently leave Hagerstown with her sisters, who were all so close and tight knit. Although they were young, they were very far from innocent and they all used to hang out with the McCassey brothers growing up. Dusty Zamora has returned to town alone and the one person who is most surprised to see her is Judd McCassey. Riding into town on a stolen outlaw biker's motorcycle should have been the first hint that trouble was headed to Hagerstown by the name of Dusty Rose.

Dusty and Judd's story really captured my heart. It was a story of first love, true love and unconditional love. Each have been in the other's heart since Dusty first left Hagerstown ten years earlier and this is a story of second chances and a whole lot of action! Exciting thrills and a smart ass woman make this story an unbelievably exciting read.

I have never read a book series that I have loved as much as this one. I can honestly say this is a first for me. Suspense is most certainly my favorite type of romance book and Ms. Sharman has definitely delivered with strong characters, unbelievable plot lines and a talent for telling a story that really captures your heart. I was amazed at all the twists and turns throughout the book and just when I thought I had everything figured out, the twist would blow me away.

The McCassey brothers bring the intense action that I look so forward to in a book. There is no way that I could possibly pick a favorite McCassey brother. Each had their own unique style that I was oh so attracted to. Rebel, the leadership, Blackie, the brawn and Judd, the heart and each man is more gorgeous than the one before. These three men melted my heart and I was turning pages just as quickly as I could, luckily I have a fire extinguisher right by the computer.

Whew, this book is just plain HOT! There is just something about a bad boy with a soft heart that gets me every time. I have never read any of Ms. Sharman's books before but I can promise you that every single one of her books will be on my shelf and will be read several times over. The McCassey Brothers Trilogy is one of the most outstanding, well written, action packed books that I have EVER read. Ms. Sharman has set the bar extremely high for other suspense books that I will read in the future. Now, a note to Ms. Sharman, PLEASE hurry with the cousins book! I GOTTA READ THEIR STORY!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Duende And The Muse by Cate Masters



The Duende And The Muse by Cate Masters
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short (27 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

Melinda the Muse's student isn't writing much these days. When Devon the duende shows up, is he there to steal her student, or her heart?

The Muse behind all creative artists is personified in this story.

Frustrated by her student’s inability to rev up his creative juices Melinda attends the MuseFest to try and find new ways to get him motivated. Whilst there she meets a duende, Devon, a creature who is a blend of charm, magic, inspiration, fire, magnetism—and demon. Duendes and Muses are a dangerous combination and it’s usually the Muse who gets hurt, but Melinda cannot help being drawn to this fascinating male.

She returns to work fired up with new ideas, but is horrified to discover Devon has been sent by the elders to help motivate her student. Caught between her attraction for Devon and the need to prove herself as a Muse, Melinda has to force the student to wake up to his potential.

A pleasant short story about the Muse who sits on all artists shoulders. At times Melinda seems naive while Devon is very much a dark, sexy character. The conflict comes with their different views on how to deal with Melinda’s student and this spills over into how Melinda feels about Devon.

The Duende and the Muse may be short, but it is well written and the story holds the attention from beginning to end. I found Melinda’s great aunts, Calliope and Euterpe, to be delightfully portrayed and would love to see a tale with them as the main characters.

The Tour by Sherry Derr-Wille


The Tour by Sherry Derr-Wille
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (294 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Rick Parker could hardly tell his boss no when he was asked to take a tour of senior citizens to Scandinavia, but he wasn’t happy about it. He didn’t like bimbo sitting with the young agents that worked for Collier Travel, it was even worse when he heard that Janice Walters would be escorting the other half of the group, it was far worse. A young bimbo agent was one thing, but one who was closer to his age and definitely not his type was another.

The last thing Janice wanted to do was escort a tour of senior citizens but her boss, Glen Collier, was very persuasive. Hopefully, Rick, the eternal playboy, would stick to his portion of the group and she could stick to hers. The last thing she wanted was to have to deal with him on a daily basis for the two weeks the trip would last.
How many people do you share your holiday snaps with? Half-a-dozen family members, perhaps? Some friends, or even giving a talk, with slides to a club or group, perhaps? Sherry Derr-Wille decided to go one better and share her holiday experiences in Scandinavia with thousands of readers.

In The Tour, she invites you to join her heroine, Janice Walters, and hero, Rick Parker, as they escort two groups of senior citizens on the same journey she has done in the past. Many of the events in her story replicate or approximate events that happened during one of her favorite holidays of all time.

Janice and Rick first met five years before the story starts and disliked each other intensely. She has no time for good-looking playboys with inflated egos, and he cringed at the thought of being cooped up with an overweight grey-haired bimbo, who constantly talked about her husband for two weeks.

Into this mix, Sherry Derr-Wille stirs in the local tour guide Inga Einerson, who's main aim is to get Rick into her bed.

Rick and Janice have to admit to wrong preconceptions about each other and to let go of their pasts before they can find their HEA.

This is a gentle read, in which her secondary characters play vital roles without overpowering the two main characters and is a book well worth choosing to read.



Kindle

Until It's Gone by Karen Wiesner


Until It's Gone, Book 5 in the Wounded Warriors Series by Karen Wiesner
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Mainstream, Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full (220 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Mitch Taylor has been playing a very dangerous game, and the lines between black and white, good and evil, saint and sinner are all blurred. Just when he thinks the stakes can't get any higher, in steps the only woman who could ever hurt him and the only one who can heal him. In the space of a skipped heartbeat, he can't imagine having more to gain...and more to lose.
“Unconditional love” for someone that seems so unlovable is a constant throughout Until It's Gone as Brenda Bennet reaches out to Mitch Taylor even after he has broken her heart. She makes herself vulnerable to all kinds of hurt yet she cannot turn off her feelings for Mitch regardless of what he has done. Her decision to tell Mitch about the precious ten-month-old Haylee makes the emotional stakes even higher. When Mitch’s job brings danger to them all, the suspense escalates to a fever pitch.

Mitch Taylor, a hardcore undercover DEA agent, is haunted by abuses in his childhood and the disappearance of his sister when she was twelve years old. He is bitter about the betrayal of his supervisors but continues in his job even though it costs him his self-respect because they have the key to his finding his sister.

Karen Wiesner sustains an undercurrent of suspense with sub plots that filter into the love and lives of Brenda, Mitch, and Haylee keeping the reader at top alert for machinations that can rip their lives apart. She also creates situations that keep the reader guessing about which characters can be trusted and which ones are willing to use any body and any means to reach their own goals regardless of the fallout—some good foreshadowing.

The intrigues, personal agendas, and diverse characters make Until It's Gone a multifaceted story that is emotionally charged.


Kindle