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Friday, October 30, 2009

Summer Wine by Helen Ravell



Summer Wine by Helen Ravell
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Length: Short (108 pages)
Genre: Contemporary
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

He was hot and charming. She fell for him hard and fast. They were on the way from Australia to the US to meet the mother-in-law from Hell, the jobs they had lined up didn't pay well, and her engagement ring was cheap, flashy bling, because that was all they could afford.

What did it matter? They had each other, and poor but honest is the stuff of fairytales.

Then Sam admitted he wasn't poor, which meant he hadn't been honest either. Things suddenly looked a whole lot grimmer. A different fairytale all together. The ring Claire thought was fake was real, and the man she thought was real was... well she'd just have to find out.

Take Claire Graham, a heroine who comes from a secure and loving family and and place her in the same space as Sam Bennett, with the mother-from-hell, mix in some humour and a lots of human frailty and you have an explosive mix. Under Ms Ravell's guidance, you feel you are 'there' in the story. Involved and wanting Claire and Sam to make it, and wondering whether Claire's prejudices will come back to haunt her. Of course they will, but it is how Helen takes Claire through those consequences that grabs and hold her reader's attentions.

Claire, at times, comes across as unforgiving and small minded, but by the end of the story she has met another character, whose appearance is brief, but his impact is profound enough to change Claire's attitude and give her another chance to put right some of the major wrongs she's guilty of. Claire comes through these lessons with flying colors and wins the justified respect of those around her and the man who matters most to her.

Sam has a secret which will come back to bite him and take his future to the edge of a black abyss of despair. He's strong minded, opinionated and in some aspects, a slow learner. When he sees his future going 'pear-shaped', he has to face up to the reality that his assumptions about people may not be as solid as he assumed. Fortunately, he has a good friend when he needs one most. But is he too late?

Ms Ravell offers conflict and attraction on the first pages and the pace and sensuality continues through to the end. This is an enjoyable read, which both exasperates and stimulates the readers' emotions.

Wolf Flight: Granite Lake Wolves, Book 2 by Vivian Arend



Wolf Flight: Granite Lake Wolves, Book 2 by Vivian Arend
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Short (87 Pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

An untriggered werewolf. A runaway Omega. It’s not easy fighting destiny.

Granite Lake Wolves, Book 2

Tad Maxwell’s workaholism serves to keep his bush-pilot company in the air, and his inner werewolf in check. In the two years since he discovered his heritage, he’s resisted the longing to test the power of his wolf side. It would mean compromising his human principles.

Then Missy Leason re-enters his life. Ten years ago, their teenage attraction never went beyond hand-holding. Now their chemistry is off the charts, pushing him closer to the step he’s not sure it’s safe to take, especially with a human.

But Missy is more like Tad than he realizes. She’s wolf too, and a wolf pack is a dangerous place to have secrets. Missy’s Alpha has sniffed out her carefully hidden Omega powers. Her first response: run from the corrupt Alpha’s plan to make her his mate. Step two: get to Tad, and hope like hell his untapped powers are strong enough to negate her own.

Every touch with Missy is hot, hot, hot, but even finding out she’s pure wolf doesn’t solve Tad’s dilemma. Is she using him, or are they truly destined mates? Only one thing is certain. He will defend her to his last breath—on his terms. Even if it means losing his life.

Tad Maxwell is a bush pilot with a secret. For two years, he’s known that he is a half-breed werewolf, but he can’t shift until he mates with a female wolf. Trouble is, he doesn’t really know any he would be willing to be with. When Missy Leason, his teenage fantasy crush, comes back into his life, he begins to think he’s willing to give up triggering his wolf in favor of life with a human woman. What he doesn’t know is that she is also a wolf; in fact she is an Omega, and she is just as interested in him as he is in her.

Unfortunately, she is a member of a pack with an unscrupulous alpha, and she is trying to escape him. This alpha plans to mate with her and use her to control the pack, and she has to find a way to stop him. Can Missy convince Tad that she wants him, not just as an escape, but as her true mate? And can two Omegas connect and defeat one very nasty alpha and find love and happiness together?

This is Vivian Arend’s second visit to Granite Lake and the wolves that live there. Having read the first book, I was intrigued to see where she would take me with this visit.

I love the richly detailed scenic areas that these stories are set in. And the character development is nothing short of superb. I love the gentle strength and determination that Missy displays when she is faced with trouble. She doesn’t back down, she just works toward her goals.

I giggled a bit when Tad was called to the Granite Lake pack and told there was someone willing to Firstmate with him and he was sure it was an older woman he had seen at gatherings. The surprise he showed when he learned Missy was the one offering was so genuinely portrayed, as was his relief. And the problems that arose when Tad tried to be noble and not force a bond on Missy thinking she had a chance to meet her true mate were kind of funny, although quite painful for Tad in the end. When the confrontation with the nasty alpha comes, it is an interesting situation.

Do Tad and Missy have their happy ever after? Of course--this is a romance, after all--but it is hard won and worth the journey. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves action, romance and a side order of humor along the way.

The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart by Sandra Sookoo



The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart by Sandra Sookoo
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short (54 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Amelia Pritchart’s life is a mess. Her house is crumbling down around her, she’s got a bad case of writer’s block, and divorce papers await her signature. The trouble is, she still loves her husband.

And if that’s not bad enough, she comes face to face with a ghost—who has problems of her own. The restless spirit demands Amelia help her tormented soul so she can finally rest in peace. Intrigued, Amelia sets out to grant the wish, but soon finds there’s much more to the ghost than just being dead.

When her estranged husband shows up on her doorstep on Halloween, Amelia must face two pasts, both full of pain. Can she help the ghost without becoming eternally haunted? And can she face her own fears and insecurities about her marriage to grasp the second chance at happiness her husband offers?

A ghost isn’t the only visitor from the past who shows up at Amelia’s door on Halloween.

Amelia is running away from the past. She’s left Jonathan, her husband, and buried herself in the restoration of her grandmother’s dilapidated Victorian house. The trouble is, the house just happens to be haunted. Amelia is awakened the night before Halloween by her ancestor, Elizabeth Hiatt. At first Amelia is frightened, but it soon becomes apparent that Elizabeth intends no harm. She needs Amelia to find a descendant of her long lost fiancĂ©, Samuel, so that she can make some confessions and finally be at rest. Amelia immediately agrees to help.

As Amelia starts digging into Elizabeth’s past, part of her own past shows up on her front door. Amelia’s husband, Jonathan, wants her to come back to him, but that’s not the only reason he came running to her door. It seems that he has been visited by a ghost as well and the ghost he’s seen just might be connected to Elizabeth. As Amelia learns of Elizabeth’s tragic tale of love and loss, she is forced to face her own fears about life and her confusing feelings for Jonathan, but is she too late? Has she already lost what could have been the love of a lifetime?

As a reader, my usual complaint about short stories is that there isn’t enough time for me to get to know the characters before the story has ended. That was definitely not the case with The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart. Ms. Sookoo expertly alternated between the story of Elizabeth’s past and Amelia’s present day dilemma in such a way that I felt I knew both women well by the time the story ended. Amelia is a smart, talented, free spirit. She loves Jonathan but is afraid that her identity will be lost in the strength of her feelings for him. Elizabeth is a caring individual who devotes her time to taking care of victims of Spanish Influenza. She lost the love of her life to war before she could be reunited with him. Left alone with a secret that could ruin her forever, Elizabeth displays amazing strength of character that serves as an example for Amelia.

As a hero, Jonathan is definitely not a free spirit. In fact, he’s the exact opposite of Amelia. As a history professor and former military man, his life is based on order and facts. He is not the type to believe in ghosts, let alone offer to help put their souls to rest. However, he finds himself tangled up in the story of Elizabeth and Samuel along with Amelia. There is one fact Jonathan is certain of, he and Amelia belong together. Can he prove to Amelia that their love was meant to be, or will his strong advances scare her away for good?

Ms. Sookoo also wasted no time in setting the mood for her Halloween short story. “Silvery moonlight filtered through the room to illuminate the furnishings with an eerie glow. Shadows crept and shifted at will to accumulate in the corners in heavy, opaque clouds.” These opening lines immediately pulled me into the story. I felt as if I was in the room with Amelia awaiting the appearance of the ghost.

I truly enjoyed reading The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart. It is a great short story that can be read in one sitting. It is a tale of love, life, and second chances that I recommend to any fan of paranormal romance.

Samantha’s Sacrifice by Sandi Hampton



Samantha’s Sacrifice by Sandi Hampton
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (303 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

To uphold her family’s honor, Samantha Adams agrees to take her sister’s place and marry wealthy rancher Blake McCarthy. But when he claims no knowledge of the wedding contract, she finds herself in desperate straits to support herself and her adopted daughter.

Having lost his wife and son during the war, the last thing Blake wants is another wife. When beautiful Samantha Adams shows up at his ranch on the pretext of honoring a marriage contract, he believes she is only after someone to take care of her and her daughter. And he is determined it’s not going to be him.

Neither Samantha nor Blake are prepared for the attraction they feel. They both intend to fight it to the bitter end. But when passion sparks into flame, can Blake’s passionate kisses and sweet caresses make Samantha forget his accusations and mistrust, and can Blake’s desire for Samantha overcome his suspicions?

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a good western romance novel. Oftentimes, the heat is present but the realism of the era is absent. It’s not enough to be told the elements exist. I want to be transported back, to experience the journey firsthand. Take me to a time when the land was untamed and roads were paved by the wheels of wagon trains. I want to lose myself in the pages, to be a part of a past that is so incredibly fascinating yet so often forgotten. Author Sandi Hampton’s incredible offering, Samantha’s Sacrifice, is exactly the brand of story-telling I’m talking about.

The tension between Samantha and Blake is presented right from the start. It’s apparent they are attracted to one another, but upon the realization, they each try to deny what they desire most. Unlike other stories in which you become distracted or agitated by the rift, you’ll ache instead for the losses that have left them scarred and unable to trust. It’s heartbreaking at times, but heartwarming at others. As the old adage goes, there can be no joy without sorrow. Ms. Hampton should be given full praise for her ability to present a hero that you want to dislike, but can never fully seem to. Blake’s actions are what drive Samantha away time and again, but even as he lashes out, you realize it’s a self-defense mechanism, ensuring that he doesn’t allow her to find a place in his heart. Of course, a hero is only as good as his heroine. Samantha is a woman that is everything women of that time had to be–strong, proud, and courageous.

Of course, there are plot twists and colorful secondary characters that ensure you won’t want to stop reading. I sat down to read this story when I woke up this morning and didn’t stop until I finished. Yes, folks. It’s that good.

Samantha’s Sacrifice is a beautifully written romance that everyone will enjoy. Be sure to place this one on you TBR list.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last Chance Rescue by Tracey Cramer-Kelly



Last Chance Rescue by Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (254 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

When Brad Sievers runs into his old friend Jessie Van Dyke at his high school reunion, little does he know how much it will change his life. When his high-powered advertising career fizzles, he falls into a most unlikely career opportunity -- becoming a member of Jessie's search-and-rescue team. Nothing in his life has prepared Brad for this, but he finds it more fulfilling than a dozen advertising campaigns.

Through dangerous rescues and personal trials, Brad and Jessie become close friends. They share in the birth of her first colt from her rescued horse; Jessie helps Brad when one of his first rescues doesn't make it. When one of their rescue victims turns out to be a fellow soldier from Jessie's Iraq War days, Brad almost loses her to old demons. But when Brad is severely injured in a training accident, Jessie nurses him back to health as only she can. And when she goes missing one night, Brad realizes just how important she has become to him.

Both Brad and Jessie must fight their own defenses to finally let down the walls that will allow them to rescue each other. This is a story about breath-taking action and adventurous lives, and the heart that is behind it all.

“You rescued me, and I don’t mean just from the mountain.” The how, where, when, and why of this quotation is the essence of this beautiful love story that is full of action, emotion, introspection, and sharing of life.

The learning to love oneself in order to truly love another who will give love in return is another compelling part of this novel. In addition, the acceptance of others and their limitations comes into play as the main characters come to terms with issues that cause deep-seated anger, guilt, and feelings of self-doubt.

The main characters, Brad and Jessie, share an enviable ability to communicate with each other about their inmost emotions as they come to realize the other’s unconditional acceptance. Their story is full of faith, friends, and family along with fear, fun, and their own special friendship—a type of friendship so often missing in male/female relationships.

Brad Sievers, a laid-off advertising agent, has used money, prestige, and being associated with the “right” people as a gauge for success for ten years, but he has never realized a sense of fulfillment. When Jessie Van Dyke, a schoolmate from kindergarten through high school, says she never thought of him being that shallow, he takes a hard look at his life. She says she always saw him as a sensitive, caring person that was a little unsure of himself and attractively shy.

The reader gets a front row seat to his changes in life style, a style full of action, true friends, and a commitment to help others while coming to terms with longtime issues with his father. More importantly, the reader gets to watch a truly special friendship and love develop as the hero and heroine survive both physical and emotional upheavals.

Jessie Van Dyke’s life the past ten years has left her with lots of emotional scars and unresolved issues. She also carries a load of guilt that is not hers to claim. Her feeling of responsible for taking care of others makes her an excellent medic, while in Iraq and while working Search and Rescue. However, it leaves emotional wounds when she cannot always succeed in saving a life. She is a complex character that the reader gets to see grow in wisdom and understanding as she deals with her own demons and while becoming an important part of Brad’s life.

Tracey Cramer-Kelly gives the reader some intense, realistic Search and Rescue scenes while she creates memorable characters that deal with life and death issues along with so many other emotion stressors in modern day society. Her secondary characters add new dimensions to the story as they interact with Brad and Jessie.

The psychology and philosophy imparted through the development of the characters’ self-awareness and self-acceptance make LAST CHANCE RESCUE a story that gives serious food for thought. However, most of all, the remarkable relationship she creates for Brad and Jessie makes this a provocative story—a story I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Just a note: The layout of this book adds to the pleasure of reading it.

Love At First Stake: Love Bites Book 1 by J. Morgan



Love At First Stake: Love Bites Book 1 by J. Morgan
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (108 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

When newbie slayer Savannah Marshall lands her first assignment, she doesn't plan on meeting the vamp of her dreams. Staking Donatello Ravell might not have been the best way to start a relationship but it sure gets her in more trouble than she bargained for.

With two days to stop an insane vampire from starting a war between vamps and humans, Savannah and Donatello discover there's more to life than saving the world -- like falling in love.

Vampires and Slayers are on opposite sides. Savannah comes from a long line of Slayers. It's no surprise when she stakes a vampire on her first solo expedition. The surprise comes when the stake doesn't kill the vampire.

Donatello, a centuries old vampire, is decidedly annoyed when he finds a young female has driven a stake through his heart. It doesn’t kill him, but it's darned painful.

From this point on the fun begins. Savannah can only be described as a feisty quirky woman who thinks Donatello is drop dead gorgeous. Pity he's a vampire. Unfortunately this doesn't stop the erotic dreams which disturb her sleep.

The couple call a truce, but neither tells their superiors about this decision. The reason for the unlikely partnership is Rudolpho, a rogue vampire who is turning humans into an army of vampires. With this army Rudolpho hopes to take over the world and put the vampires, with him as their leader, in charge. Working close together also brings their feelings for one another to the fore. Rudolpho senses their attraction to one another and takes a hand in their affair.

I have to admit the title of Love At First Stake first drew my attention to this book. I seldom read paranormal but the title sounded intriguing. I wasn't disappointed. The story moves at a fast pace and grabbed me from the first page. Donatello is dark and dangerous, but at the same time the type of male who makes you go weak at the knees. Savannah is strong minded with a determination to do things her way, but from the moment she meets Donatello she can only think of the two of them making love.

The humor and interaction between the hero and heroine keep the pace flowing smooth and fast. I found myself chuckling as the story progressed and before I realized it I had read the whole book in one sitting. It took me several hours but I couldn't put it down.

I congratulate the author on his ability to capture the reader's attention and keep it from page one to the last page. Love at First Stake is the first in a series and I'll certainly be looking out for the next book from this author.

The Cowboy Plan by Denise Belinda McDonald



The Cowboy Plan by Denise Belinda McDonald
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (155 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Oleander

Big girls don’t cry over a spilled chocolate milkshake—they run like crazy.

Alex Barrett’s all too “real life” sentence is almost over. She’s spent years being a parent to her siblings—and her flaky mother. What was her reward, other than an empty bed? Nothing. And now that she’s almost free, nothing’s exactly what she plans to do. Except have fun.

One minute she’s one of thousands of panting female fans at hotter-than-hot Drew Hartford’s concert. The next, she’s all wet—and so is he. Okay, so it’s only because she dumped a milkshake all over him.

Drew’s meteoric rise to the top of the country charts is fueled by the swooning women who throw themselves at his feet. Alex? She’s different. When their icy paths cross, she doesn’t throw her panties, she beats a hasty retreat. There’s only one way to keep this intriguing lady around long enough to charm her out of those panties: offer her a job she can’t refuse.

Drew may be every female’s definition of a fantasy man, but a paycheck and a roll in the hay do not a relationship make. Besides, Alex is tired of living 24/7 for someone else. Even a someone who’s offering her dreams of happily ever after…

Drew Hartford is a star, an up-and-coming country music star that sings beautiful music and is sexy to boot. So why is it that Alex Barrett is running scared from him? When they meet by chance in a local diner Alex accidentally spills her chocolate milkshake all over him and then makes a run for it. Sparking a little more than a casual interest for Alex he is bound and determined to find out who this beautiful creature is who won’t give him the time of day.

Alex has a family from hell, a slutty older sister who slept with Alex's fiancĂ© and had his baby, a mother who keeps accepting Alex’s handouts but spends the money on herself and her latest escapade into beautification including a recent face lift. Then there is her adorable nephew who is so innocent of all the drama and her younger brother who unbeknownst to Alex is squandering the college tuition money she is struggling to pay for. She's fed up with it all, and tries to get away.

When she drops the shake on Drew she is mortified. She is an original Drewdette, just a fan, not a stalker but on his online fan page she sparks up a conversation with another fan, Andrew. Little does she know that this is actually Drew trying to seek Alex out and Alex is falling for him.

Drew just wanted to be accepted for who he was and not his star status and believes that he has found that in Alex. He hires her on as his band's photographer for a couple of weeks while he heads to Nashville for a fan fair; despite a huge payday, Alex is hesitant but realizes that she can get out of the red, pay her brother's tuition and still have a nice nest egg for herself. She determines to keep her relationship with Drew strictly professional, while he (to the dismay of his bandmates) is equally determined to make Alex fall in love with him.

Love, understanding, patience and acceptance for who you are, these are the theme’s that stand out most in Alex and Drew’s relationship. An addictive story from the beginning I highly recommend The Cowboy Plan if you like a sweet cowboy, spicy sex, and a strong female who can’t resists affection. A truly hot read that will keep you turning the pages until the end.

Sleeping with Skeletons by Doralynn Kennedy



Sleeping with Skeletons by Doralynn Kennedy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Full (257 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Larkspur



Former CIA operative Margaret Garrison is not the woman she appears to be when she arrives in rural Ireland, hoping to find a quiet respite from running for her life. The last thing she needs is to catch the eye of Aidan Grimes, the wildly popular Irish actor filming the movie Jane Eyre in Ballyrick.

Rumored to have broken a thousand hearts, Aidan is also a man of many surprises. The very secrecy that shrouds Margaret compels him to want to know more about her, which inadvertently alerts her enemies to her location and threatens not only Margaret’s life, but those of the people around her.

Between Aidan, his father, and a little girl desperately in need of a mother, Margaret discovers a life she has always dreamed of but never dared hoped for. But with the skeletons from her past drawing nearer each day, can love triumph over evil, or is it all just a myth?

I have to start off this review by saying that this was the most excitement I’ve experienced in a novel in a long time. Ms Kennedy gives us an unlikely pair as our hero and heroine in this wonderful read, Margaret a former CIA black ops agent and Aiden a popular Irish actor. Can they find love? Is happiness possible? The author takes us on a frightening journey deep into the psyche of a trained killer in this dramatic psychological thriller as we learn about the skeletons she sleeps with. But who can she trust? Will they survive?

Ms. Kennedy’s plot/storyline takes us page by chilling page through one woman’s incredible life from loss to torture and betrayal to revenge and finally to redemption and joy. Set in the majestic backdrop of Ireland she works magic with her amazing descriptive dialogue showing her readers with her words dramatic Atlantic seascapes and breathtaking landscapes as she takes us through the wild beauty of Ireland. While in other scenes across the sea we’re shown glimpses of Margaret’s once captor as he tracks her and of her life before. She shows us all her secrets, her disappointments, her failures and her hopes. She is an incredible storyteller. Her characters are unforgettable from the sweet Katie to the enigmatic Aiden and the complex Margaret. Her supporting characters are no less memorable from the pure evil of the villain to the exciting operatives and even her cameo characters are well defined and interesting. The romance between Margaret and Aiden is spicy and sensual yet sweet and heartwarming, and as the bond between them forms the past is revealed and all her secrets come back to haunt her. And it’s not just a love story between a man and a woman, but the birth of a family too.

Doralynn Kennedy gives us page after page of an edge of your seat, nail biting, heart racing read. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions that doesn’t forget that it’s foremost and absolutely a romance novel. So if you like the feel of your heart thumping erratically and you enjoy crying one minute, laughing the next and then cringing with your next breath and if you like your romance on the sizzle burner then this is definitely the read for you! Kudos to Ms Kennedy for this amazing can’t put it down must read!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands



The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (357 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Nicholas Argeneau is not your typical rogue hunter in The Renegade Hunter, the latest installment of the Rogue Hunter series from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands. Though he spent centuries targeting vampires who break the immortal laws, for the past 50 years Nicholas has been a rogue himself. But then he saves a beautiful mortal from a terrifying bloodsucker, and everything changes.

The Renegade Hunter is a gripping tale about a man who’s lost belief in himself and the woman who practically whacks him aside the head with the knowledge that he was too quick to do so.

Jo Willan is a likable heroine because she goes with her gut and does what she thinks is right. Jo is loyal, not stupid. The progression of her being ignorant of the Immortal race to full knowledge is a journey fraught with hard choices, testing of one’s own mettle and pursuit of justice for another. Even when that ‘other’ is a hunky, self-flagellating immortal who believes the worst of himself.

Nicholas Argeneau believes he is a pariah to his family. He did something unforgivable many years ago and is tortured by the memory. Or is he? Jo is a thorn of practical persuasion which Nicholas can’t get out from under his skin. He wants to, but he doesn’t. He wants her to stay away from him but needs her beside him just as much. Nicholas is an anguished hero who lost everything once and is afraid he’d not survive losing it all over again. His character embodies what romance readers look for in a hero.

In this book, Ms. Sands has Jo being a pet owner. Charlie is a big loveable dog who is the heroine’s other hero. I’m impressed that Charlie was never forgotten. The care and feeding of a pet is as domestic and ho-hum as can be yet many authors don’t follow through. They introduce kids or pets for the ‘cute’ factor and then sort of let it fade. Not so with The Renegade Hunter. I was impressed with the details and consistency.

The bad guy is actually a victim of his circumstance. I got a sense that if he were born in another type of family situation that he’d have turned out differently. I sort of felt bad for him. Almost.

I appreciate scenes in this series where the Argeneau clan comes together. It is never boring, always fun, fascinating and brings with it vital points about family, loyalty and riotous humor. Speaking of humor, just wait until you get to the part when Jo meets Lucien, Nicholas’ uncle. I mean, really gets to interact with him. I was splitting my sides giggling and chortling over those verbal exchanges. Ms. Sands has a cheeky sense of humor and I had a blast seeing it aimed at Lucien. Oh wait, the humor started with the…look. I won’t say the full title, it’s just too hysterical. Good thing I wasn’t drinking or eating when I read that the first time.

The Renegade Hunter has what I’ve come to expect from this series from Ms. Sands. The writing and dialogue is always snappy, fresh and forward moving and this book is no exception. The loving is as passionate and emotional as one could wish, the characters well formed and relatable and the happily ever after is there. I won’t say it’s completed however. Because the author left a tantalizing and intriguing thread dangling, I just know that I’ll be seeing Jo and Nicholas again in a future book. I can’t wait. Lynsay Sands rocks.

Her Maine Man by by Sylvie Kaye



Her Maine Man by by Sylvie Kaye
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Full (316 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

One weekend a year to bare your soul and your passion. He couldn’t believe the sweet deal she was offering. No commitment, just pure release.

A deathbed promise takes Jon from his consulting desk to a remote island in Maine, where he becomes entangled with one of the loose ends.

As one of the island’s first family and a target for scandal, Maddie longs to share her body and her secrets. The sexy, visiting consultant seems perfect for a clandestine, once-a-year affair—until once isn’t enough.

Jonathan Matthews finds himself talked into an island getaway, and it is not a tropical island, either.

He doesn’t go expecting a good time; there will be no Bahama–Mamas or tropical sun. Before he even arrives and is still aboard the ferry, he sees first the perfectly quaint Maine scenery, and then someone akin to a goddess, over at the rail.

Of course, both of the protagonists have issues that make any relationship doubtful. And, we aren't even sure what we want to happen.

Jon establishes a definite preference for fast cars and willing blonds. He’s truly not a very engaging main man there, at the start. He does have that "something" though. The dialogue is snappy and reveals a lot about our characters. We know Jon is inclined to be a touch whiny as he tries to weasel out of helping his brother-in-law.

Maddie thinks she’s her own person, very independent and professional. In fact, she’s the rock for her family, and a responsible nurse, too. In fact, reputation and expectation have created something of a prison for her. With a lot on her hands, she’s shocked by a certain family member’s revelations…which is also, maybe, just a touch psychologically freeing. These are really complex characters, and their motivations and true feelings only surface over time.

Interest and attraction accompany the first meeting of Jon and Maddie. Both have already revealed something about themselves. We expect things to change for each of them, almost at once. They share some classic romance-type misunderstandings and misdirection, but you see where this is headed, and for once everything happens the way you want it too… except, not really. The perfection of the arrangement, utterly without commitment, suits both of them at first. Intimacy presents problems, in different ways, for each of them. And each of their decisions impacts on other family members.

Her Maine Man continuously maintains reader interest and curiosity. Tension builds nicely throughout, with unique characters and an unusual enough situation to make things unpredictable. It’s a nicely written romance, with some really touching moments.

Another Man's Love by Cheryl A. Cornell



Another Man's Love by Cheryl A. Cornell
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (210 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

The third Sunday of every month is open house brunch at the Sheppard home. Travel circumstances leave Tom Hayden accepting an invitation from a stranger. One look at his hostess Corin with her husband unlocks buried emotions, reinforcing his failures.

Leaving her is difficult, but he has no other option, taking with him the first line of a new song: She’s another man’s love, she’ll never be mine. When the situation changes, the reality of their destinies must be put in perspective. Can Corin move forward without guilt? Will the reality of their relationship spoil the dream they’ve been fantasizing about?

ANOTHER MAN’S LOVE, a story of lovers that are a safe haven for each other, taps into the reader’s emotions the moment the door opens to Tom Hayden and Bob upon their arrival at Rand and Corin’s home during a torrential rain on the Carolina coast. That third weekend in February changed Tom Hayden’s life forever.

Tom, a music celebrity on a week’s rest, finds himself with strangers that are just as creative as he is, yet far less stressed. As he sees Corin and Rand interact with each other, he recognizes a love like he has never known. It is a love that leaves the world outside. They are so in sync, and it is evident they come first with each other. Tom sees this. He also sees how they give abundantly to work, friends, and family. He acknowledges that his music always came before his two ex-wives. He had not cared enough to put them first.

Corin, a successful artist, has layers and layers to her personality. As the story unfolds, she propels the action along with the grace of an accomplished hostess and a self-sufficient individual. However, she has fought and continues to fight the darkness in her life that overwhelmed her at one time and threatens to do so again after Rand dies.

Bob, the cousin, has always protected and watched over her like a loving brother while bringing his own style of humor into events. He introduced Tom to Corin and Rand but tells Tom to not distract her after Rand’s death but allow her to work through her grief in her own time frame.

The respect for each other’s boundaries that Tom, Corin, Rand, and Bob show makes them all memorable in a very positive way.

The symbolism and imagery enhance the story and add depth to the characters. Cheryl A. Cornell’s character development is exceptional; making the reader fell as if she is in the immediate presence of the characters as they laugh together, and as they share their deepest needs with each other.

Events in ANOTHER MAN’S LOVE linger in the mind and heart long after the last word is read. This remarkable romance is a joy to read.