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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Angel And The Unforgiven by Melissa Blue



Angel And The Unforgiven by Melissa Blue
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (243 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When a beautiful murder suspect falls under the protection of a devastating, if broken, sea captain the two will learn that sometimes everyone needs rescuing, and all deserve an angel.

Cadence needs a knight in shining armor, but finds Curtis Langston, a troubled soul also in need of rescuing.

Trapped at home with an abusive father and an indifferent mother, Cadence Jamison longs to escape. She often dreams of boarding a ship and sailing across the ocean to visit new worlds. When her daydreams keep her out on the docks of Charleston past dark, Cadence is attacked. At that moment, Captain Curtis Langston appears and rescues her. Cadence and Curtis grew up together, but Curtis isn’t the mischievous boy he used to be. Service in the Confederate Army has left Curtis a changed man. Now he sails the sea as a very successful ship captain.

Cadence is drawn to Curtis, but knows a romance isn’t practical since he’ll be heading out to sea soon. Just as she has resigned herself to the fact that she’ll probably never see him again, Cadence again finds herself in need of rescuing. Through a cruel twist of fate, Cadence finds herself the primes suspect in a murder. Scared, she runs to the only person who makes her feel safe.

Cadence is rather endearing heroine. Though she has suffered abuse at the hands of those who should have loved her the most, Cadence has maintained a childlike innocence and has the ability to seek out the good in every man. Cadence falls for Curtis almost immediately, but knows that they come from two completely different worlds. His family is rich, while her father lost everything during the war. She has nothing to offer him but love, but will it be enough? Curtis has built a wall around himself that she can’t seem to break through. To make matters worse, Cadence won’t tell Curtis the entire truth about why she’s on the run. Will they ever learn to trust each other?

Angel And The Unforgiven was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I had to learn what haunted Curtis and if he and Cadence would find their happy ending. Fans of historical romance will want to pick up a copy today.

Blood and Destiny by Kaye Chambers



Blood and Destiny by Kaye Chambers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (144 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

When the past bites, bite back.

Ladies of St. George, Book 1

For Destiny St. George, shapeshifting lioness and private investigator, her best friend’s looming wedding is little more than a reminder of her failed relationship with vampire king Marcus Smythe. Tired of being only one of many mistresses—and dinner entrees—she’s stayed away from the vampire scene altogether. Until a missing-person case forces her to seek his help.

Knowing that pressing Destiny is not the way to convince her to give their relationship another try, Marcus has been waiting her out—and his patience is rewarded when she steps into his nightclub. Now is his chance to lure her back into his arms. This time, he plans to keep her there.

Destiny’s not sure which is worse: working with Marcus, or trying to remember all the reasons she called it off with him. And when it becomes clear the case is an elaborate trap to avenge a millennia-old grudge, she finds herself caught between love and instinct—while the clock ticks down on an innocent victim’s life…


Destiny St. George is a private investigator, and a good one. She also happens to be a lioness shifter, which can be a help in her profession. When a man comes to her for help finding his missing wife, she is drawn into a world she knows all to well: the vampire community. It seems that the wife disappeared with a man claiming to be a vampire. This means Destiny will have to work with her former lover, Marcus Smythe, owner of the vampire club the wife frequented before she vanished. Can Destiny keep things from heating up between Marcus and her? Does she want to? And what about the mysterious lion shifter in town for her best friend’s wedding? Who is behind all of the mysterious happenings, and what is the real agenda?

Kaye Chambers write such strong female characters. Despite growing up with no family, Destiny knows who and what she is. She takes nonsense from no one, and refuses to compromise her principles for anyone. She breaks off her relationship with Marcus rather than be one of many. When she realizes she has to ask Marcus for help, she strikes up a truce, and maintains her stance that they are no longer a couple.

Like all vampires, Marcus is handsome, self assured and oh so sexy. He is determined to win Destiny back to his side, and is determined to find a compromise they can both live with. Into this mix comes Luke, a lion from out of town. Luke is handsome, sexy and appears interested in Destiny.

But this is a story of mysteries and hidden agendas, and not everything is what, or who, it appears to be. I like that in a story, the unpredictable outcome. Kaye Chambers has written a thriller, with secrets and twists to treat the best mystery lover in all of us.

I like Destiny, and I admit I was rooting for Marcus to win her back throughout the story. Is there a happy ever after for Destiny and Marcus? You will have to read this marvelous story to find out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Love Waltzes In by Kim Smith



Love Waltzes In by Kim Smith
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (60 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Lavender

When Magella Crane decides to break out of her shell after her husband's death, she has no idea that love will be waltzing in.

Love Waltzes In by Kim Smith is a delightful, feel-good type of story. I really liked the heroine, Magella, otherwise known as Maggie. She's a nice, middle-aged widow, and I wanted to see things work out in her favor, for her to find love again after the age of forty. I wished, however, that the author had drawn more of a picture of her. I had a hard time visualizing her.

I also liked the hero, Tyler, a younger man. He's attractive and charming and shows integrity throughout the story. These two meet when Maggie decides to step outside and move on. She meets Tyler when she goes to his dance studio for lessons.

At first I didn't expect that these two would hook up. I was pleasantly surprised when Tyler showed interest in the older woman. It made me like and respect him more. Their attraction was well written, and I rooted for their relationship.

A couple of misunderstandings come up, disrupting their developing relationship. Tyler shows his good character during the ensuing troubles, though, they are rather mild and could have been more intense.

Even though I liked the story and the characters, I didn't give it a higher rating because the tension wasn't very strong. It just didn't draw strong emotions from me. This is the type of story to read with a nice cup of tea on a day you just want to relax. It made me smile, and was very sweet. I really liked the last line, “You have to save all the waltzes for me.” It’s a fitting end to a charming little story, and I will remember these characters for some time.

Angel’s Peak by Robyn Carr



Angel’s Peak by Robyn Carr
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (394 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

Four years ago, Air Force sweethearts Franci Duncan and Sean Riordan reached an impasse. She wanted marriage and a family. He didn't. But a chance meeting proves that the bitter breakup hasn't cooled their sizzling chemistry.

Sean has settled down in spite of himself—he's not the cocky young fighter pilot he was when Franci left, and he wants them to try again. After all, they have a history…but that's not all they share.

Franci's secret reason for walking away when Sean refused to commit is now three and a half: a redheaded cherub named Rosie who shares her daddy's emerald-green eyes. Sean is stunned—and furious with Franci for the deception.

News travels fast in Virgin River, and soon the whole town is taking sides. Rebuilding their trust could take a small miracle—and the kind of love that can move mountains.

Angel’s Peak, the second volume in Robin Carr’s Virgin River series, is a story consisting of multiple characters, interconnected and intersecting paths, and subplots. Although the blurb indicates you are taking the journey of Sean and Franci -- a couple who parted bitterly four-years before, yet are serendipitously reunited -- there are several other romances, conflicts, and stories that take place.

The beginning of Angel’s Peak is as promised, and we are introduced to Franci and Sean. Sean is in a bar, desperate to get away from his newlywed brother and sister-in-law, when he sees his former flame stroll through the door with friends. When Franci gave him an ultimatum to start a life together consisting of a marriage, family, and children, Sean all but showed her the door. He was happy with the way things were and didn’t need a piece of paper to declare his commitment. After seeing her again, however, he knows he made a huge mistake.

Deciding to try and rectify the situation, Sean waits for Franci outside the bar in an attempt to talk to her. It doesn’t go well, but he isn’t willing to take no for an answer. As he becomes more insistent, demanding an explanation for her refusal to so much as speak to him, the truth is revealed; Franci was already several months pregnant with their child when she put him on the spot and, upon his admission he never wanted children, fled from him in an effort to give her child love and not the resentment that would arise from married parents bound to one another through obligation.

As Sean struggles to come to terms with what he’s lost, yet inadvertently gained, he knows he has to make things right with Franci, ensure she realizes he’s changed, and persuade her to give him a chance to prove they can be so very happy together.

From this point forward, the story branches into multiple stories that are connected via the characters with a relation, friendship, or interest in one another. You get snippets from Franci’s mother, Vivian, Sean’s mother, Maureen, as well as his brothers and their spouses. There are also portions dedicated to the couple from the first book (which admittedly, I have not read), as well as local residents who are prominent in the community. It’s a very large roster of characters, yet instead of becoming the supporting cast, they are given (and take up as much, if not more) page time than the hero and heroine.

Unfortunately, while I enjoy a story with richness and depth, I found the multiples points of view distracting. As this was Sean and Franci’s story, I wanted to know more about them, their relationship, their feelings, what it was like to try and start all over again. I wanted to experience what they were going through, where they were with things, how they were going to cope with the very real possibility that soon Sean would be deployed overseas. Yes, portions of this are present, but for me there just wasn’t enough to invest in these two characters in particular. Instead, the points of view shift from one story to the next, and just when you settle in, you’re taking a different journey in someone else’s shoes.

There are positive things to be said, however, especially in regard to the writing style, dialogue, and scenes that make your heart clench and your stomach knot. When Ms. Carr decides to bring on the emotion, she goes for the throat. I loved the scenes with Sean, Franci, and Rosie, and couldn’t wait for them to come together as a family. I also enjoyed the scenes with Noah and Ellie, as well as those between Sean and his brothers. There is humor, there is pain, and there is hope, which are essential elements in any fantastic story.

Those who love elements of romance, a bit of tension, and a large cast of characters will enjoy Angel’s Peak. There is quite a following in this series and I’m certain the fans of the first offering will not be disappointed.

An Earl to Enchant by Amelia Grey



An Earl to Enchant by Amelia Grey
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (344 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

The Rogues' Dynasty Series

He’s determined not to be a hero…

Lord Morgandale is as notorious as he is dashing, and he’s determined no woman will tie him down. But from the moment Arianna Sweet appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist the lure of her fascinating personality, exotic wardrobe, and tempting green eyes…

She has a deadly secret…

Arianna Sweet never imagined the significance of her father’s research until after his untimely death. Now she is in possession of his groundbreaking discovery, one that someone would kill for. She can’t tell Lord Morgandale her secret, but she knows she needs his help, desperately…

Sometimes, you enjoy a book based on more than the characters. If the setting is rich and the dialogue is sharp, you’ll fall into the pages, becoming one with the surroundings. Thus is the case Amelia Grey’s An Earl To Enchant, a vivid and unforgettable story which delivers just as the title promises.

A case of mistaken identity ensures the introduction to the protagonists is both sultry and memorable, snaring the interest and engaging the attention. Morgan is a gentleman in need of the lushness of a woman, and awaits the arrival of the courtesan he’s arranged to visit his home. Of course, what he finds instead is a beautiful woman who rebukes his advances and informs him none too gently that she is at his domicile to meet his grandmother. Their banter is both humorous and tongue in cheek, and I realized then that I would absolutely adore Morgan and Arianna. Both are head-strong, intelligent, and unwilling to bend. Their similarities make for some comical scenes that will cause you to stifle chuckles of glee while shaking your head in delight.

Although An Earl To Enchant has elements of suspense, the plot is woven like the finest tapestry, with interwoven threads that become visible as you view it from the proper direction. Through impeccable pacing, you’ll get what you need, when you need it. There is no need to rush as the romance between Morgan and Arianna blooms slowly and enraptures the reader without overwhelming them. It was refreshing to enjoy a book with such a slow, sensual burn. He wants her, but he wants his freedom more. She wants him, and but realizes he isn’t hers to take. As a romantic at heart, it definitely hit the spot, and I couldn’t wait until Morgan caved to his desire and claimed Arianna as his own.

Those searching for a steamy romance with characters you can help but love will thoroughly enjoy An Earl To Enchant. The writing is fantastic, the plot thickens as the story progresses, and the characters are absolutely wonderful. Don’t forget to pencil this title onto your TBR list. This is the first story I’ve enjoyed by Ameila Grey, but it will not be the last.

Monday, March 29, 2010

That Special Someone by Jane Bierce



That Special Someone by Jane Bierce
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (159 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Tired of being the sales rep for his father's firm, Edward finds the home office just as hazardous. Lumbered with finding a replacement for the firm's CFO, Edward suspects the best man for the job is a woman.

Toni Rovere can be easily overlooked -- until Edward finds that he could learn a thing or two about business from her.

How many adults listen when a child tells them what they need to do? Fortunately for Edward McCloud, when his niece, Nicole told him he needed to find someone special to fill his life, he listened to her. Although he didn’t precisely go looking for her it turned out to be more of a case of finding her when trying to fulfil another of Nicole’s demands.

Jane Bierce could have made Edward too good to be true, but the gentle caring man admits to having neglected his education and only doing just enough to get his grades. But he has natural attributes that means he didn’t get his place in the family business simply because of his heritage.

When the boss’s son asks Toni to make some extra clothes for his niece's special doll, she takes the request seriously and, as she does with all her projects, puts her heart and soul into it. It is not long before her heart follows a path of its own choosing and Toni finds herself facing several dilemmas. Some personal, some job-related and an additional ethical dimension that weaves its way through everything else.

Not satisfied with giving her hero and heroine plenty of obstacles to overcome, Jane Bierce adds some wonderful secondary characters. Whole, while fully rounded, they never usurp Edward and Toni.

That Someone Special is an easy and delightful read that you can pick up and put down between times, or finish in one sitting, when you feel in need of uplifting company.

A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare



A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full (376 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Review by: Xeranthemum


In Lydia Dare’s debut trilogy, Regency England has gone to the wolves!

He gets crankier and crankier as the moon gets full…

The rules of Society can be beastly—especially when you’re a werewolf and it’s that irritating time of the month. Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor, is rich, powerful, and sinfully handsome, and has spent his entire life creating scandal and mayhem. It doesn’t help his wolfish temper at all that Miss Lily Rutledge seems not the least bit afraid of him, and in fact, may be as untamable as he is…

A woman whose charm is stronger than the moon…

When Lily’s beloved nephew’s behavior becomes inexplicably wild, she turns to Simon, the boy’s cousin and guardian, for help. But Simon’s idea of assistance is far different than hers, and Lily finds herself ensconced in his house and engaged to the rogue.

They both may have bitten off more than they can chew when each begins to discover the other’s darkest secrets…

Get ready for a fun and entertaining historical paranormal romance sure to lure even readers who, as a rule, do not read historical romances. This book is so much fun and the hero so surly that I couldn’t wait to find out how he’s brought to heel.

Simon, the Duke of Blackmoor has a complicated personality. He is the oldest so he has the pressure to be firm, strong and lead. He has this irritating emotional itch to scratch but he interprets it in the wrong way and ends up creating quite a rakish name for himself amongst the ton. He’s loved by his brothers and just as fiercely he loves them back. It’s that passion that is his undoing because he applies it to just about every decision he makes that truly matters to him. His stance on official Lycan marriages is that it’s great and works for others but he just knows it’s not for him – he’s too afraid. Something happened in the past which colored his view of mating. Something that should have been so beautiful and a reason to rejoice has turned into something to fear, to steer clear of. Since guys are notorious at avoidance, this just adds spice to the internal conflict poor Simon must wade through. My favorite part of his dialogue and what I found sort of sexy and endearing was his assertion that the heroine never pull away from him. As you read you get the feeling that his instinct to love and connect with her is there but Simon is wearing blinders and wants to keep wearing them, again because he’s afraid. But some things like love and a healthy dose of lust will undermine the best laid intentions, leading to him doing wonderfully sensual and wild things with the heroine. I really liked Simon, found him adorable, kissable and I wanted to go on a carriage ride with him too.

The lucky lady who did get to go in his carriage is Lily. Lily is well-situated on the proverbial shelf and is perfectly happy being there. You see, she has her nephew and he’s her world. But something is going on with him; he’s making that change from boy to man – and it’s a trifle puzzling. Actually, a lot more is going on than Lily can possibly imagine and I truly felt for her. You see, she knows without a doubt that she’s missing a piece of the puzzle and it is driving her nuts. By that point, a reader already knows what is what and cheers the heroine on in her search for the truth. There are times where I really wish she did find out sooner but the angst that guilt produces in Simon is worth her not knowing for awhile. What I mean is, Lily gets a chance to really know the man – his humor, his gruffness, his bumbling attempts at communication and his sense of silly humor. I like how she reacts to him and stands up to him and basically is alpha female to his alpha male. She’s a good fit for him.

Secondary characters are there for a purpose. There are no throwaway personalities. Prisca is conniving and I think what she’s angling for is what will eventually be her own story. William is the fun brother of Simon and he’s great at needling the dickens out of his brother. The pastor’s wife and her family play a role in forwarding the scheme and Simon’s mother is a surprise. I really thought I’d have to read about another mean mother-in-law but Alice has some great lines of dialogue that were simply so like a mom. She’s easy to like. Even the tart produces scenes which test the mettle of the heroine and hero.

The dialogue was specific to the characters, meaning Simon sounded like a guy, Lily sounded like a woman of her time albeit independent and everything made sense. There were silly moments, passionate moments, and the internal dialogues were insightful. I felt the pace of the story was a steady flow, easy to read and the descriptives Ms. Dare used brought her characters alive.

A Certain Wolfish Charm completely and totally charmed my socks off and I could not put this book down until I’d read it from front to back. I connected with Lily, swooned over Simon and enjoyed the rocky path they journeyed on as they found their happily ever after. Ms. Dare has created a fun world where werewolves inhabit the Ton’s high society and the word ‘rake’ takes on a whole new connotation. This is a place where a man being called a ‘beast’ isn’t a slur but high praise indeed and a woman really does get to enjoy a wild man. What could be better? Personally, I’d say another story about a Westfield man, please. This book was incredibly fun to read and I can’t wait to tell my friends all about it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Born to Be Wild by Christine Warren



Born to Be Wild by Christine Warren
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (325 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

A Novel of The Others #7

Josie Barrett brings out the animal in men. Literally. As the local veterinarian in a town that’s approximately seventy percent Others—mostly shapeshifters—Josie deals with beastly situations all the time. It’s practically part of her job description. But when the werewolves of Stone Creek, Oregon, start turning downright feral, Josie smells a rat—among other, more dangerous critter.

Teaming up with the ferociously sexy Eli Pace, a full-time sheriff and part-time were-lion, Josie tries to contain the shapeshifting problem before it spreads like a virus. But when more shifters get infected—and stuck in their animal forms—the fur really begins to fly. Josie and Eli have to find the cause, fast, before the whole town goes to the dogs. But first, they have to wrestle with a few animal urges of their own.

Born to be Wild embraces the gamut of storytelling from a mysterious threat wreaking havoc and circumventing a budding romance to a diabolical plan with far reaching consequences and the race against time to stop it.

If a reader enjoys that spiraling out of control ‘what’s-going-to-happen-now’ feeling in their romantic suspense books then this book should be a winner. It starts off so innocently. Josie is the heroic veterinarian who takes on the care of an injured wolf and gets sucked into a situation that could turn a CDC tech’s hair instantly white. She is a dedicated, hard-working and easy to be with person but Josie also is someone you can count on in an emergency. She’ll have your back. And that’s just the type of personality that would appeal to a man of the law.

Sheriff Eli Pace likes that stubborn streak in her. She’s more than a match for him although those same traits he admires drives him nuts too. Eli is a lion shifter and he is usually a loner. I like it when a loner isn’t alone anymore, when they find their other half. It’s so romantic.

My favorite interplay between Josie and Eli takes place when I got to see his POV, and he’s so proud of himself too. He figures he knows what he is doing when he courts Josie and mentally pats himself on the back. The snickers came when I got Josie’s take on the same situation and she’s practically got steam pouring out of her ears. That male/female disconnect makes for some pretty funny reading.

The conflict and villain are insidious. Ms. Warren definitely did her research and it shows. There were quite a few references to situations and information which would have done The X-Files proud. As it is, once the culprits are revealed, I was stunned to realize I’d met the sickos before in previous books in this series. Never did it dawn on me who was behind it all. When the big climactic confrontation and showdown occurred, I found it to be…toned down. Not at all like a Terminator blood bath, more like the wrap up scene in the A-Team series. The best part about that was how it lit off a light bulb in Eli’s head about Josie. Even amongst all that testosterone and action, there was that perfect moment, like the final brush stroke of a master painter, when they finally ‘got’ each other.

The secondary characters were fleeting at best. Not a lot of time was spent getting to know them. They were there to support the activity in the plot or the relationship between the hero and heroine and that’s pretty much it. There were a few parts with the local pack alpha that I wasn’t impressed with. The way he was written pretty much turned me off. I didn’t respect him because he wasn’t available when he should have been. No excuses. At one point, if he'd been a real person, I’d have been yelling at him to ‘wake up!’ and whacked him aside the head. As it is, I give a loud harrumph to him.

Born To Be Wild kept me flipping those pages with the exciting plot, the scrambling of the characters trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late, and Eli’s very sensual, romantic and typical alpha male pursuit of Josie, his other half. I didn’t stop reading from the moment I opened the book until I got to the sigh-inducing final page. I felt it was time well spent and would recommend this book to anyone who likes a healthy dose of intrigue with their kisses.

Rules Of Conduct by Maggi Andersen



Rules Of Conduct by Maggi Andersen
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Genre: Historical (Regency)
Length: Full (191 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

HE IS A MAN OF HONOR

The Duke of Vale is destined to marry the woman his parents have chosen for him. But he cannot forget the beautiful and mysterious woman he calls Viola.

SHE IS A WOMAN OF SECRETS

After losing her memory, Viola knows only of her Classical education, and her love for the Duke of Vale. In her flight from danger, she has broken all the rules of conduct. As she falls further in disgrace and her choices narrow, she must fight for what is hers.

“Viola” has a sense of self even when amnesia plagues her. In a borrowed, faded servant’s dress, she is still confident and poised, with impeccable manners. She plays the piano beautifully and is better educated than most women of her time. Recognizing the needs of the tenants on Vale Estate where she lives after her rescue, she works to help them. While her upbringing is that of a noble woman, she has none of their affectations. She loves the freedom not usually afforded “proper” young ladies of nobility. People, both male and female, are drawn to her.

Hugh Beauchamp, the third Duke of Vale, fits into the life style of nobility of the Regency age. However, he is tiring of the London scene and of “Prinny’s” excesses. His country estate has more appeal. He is resigned to his arranged marriage to Felicity, his childhood playmate who will inherit the estate adjoining Vale. He supposes his life will change very little. Then, a filthy, unconscious girl lying in the road sets his world on its ear.

For a man of power and influence, he finds himself beset with women and their wishes. His old Nanny, Felicity, his sister Clarissa, and “Viola” rearrange the course of his life before he knows it. The stakes are high as he sets in to find “Viola’s” identity with only a locket for a clue. He grants Felicity her wish, listens to Nanny’s sage advice, and falls in with Clarissa’s plans to help “Viola”.

The attraction Hugh and “Viola” feel for each other is a strong, bright, and beautiful thread that weaves its way through this intriguing Regency tale. Another thread, dark and ominous in the tapestry is the danger that threatens “Viola”. These focal points keep the reader turning pages.

Rules Of Conduct has a gentleness about it at times that makes it beguiling. At other times, the insatiable desire for wealth and power threatens to destroy all the beauty.

Maggi Andersen gives the reader humor, suspense, mystery, historical tidbits, and a charming, fresh love story. She takes the reader along as the story weaves its way through a maze of twists and turns with danger, conflicts, and “rules of conduct” threatening at every turn. Good Reading!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love’s Blessings by M.G. Braden



Love’s Blessings by M.G. Braden
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Short (45 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom

Janelle Trent is a woman who has been desperately trying to have a baby. Can she surrender to God when the treatments don't work?

Kevin Trent is a man who loves his wife, baby or not. Can he show her that they already are a family?

Can two people in love move past heartache to find each other, and possibly a miracle, again?

M.G. Braden has written a wonderful heart warming story.

The author tackles a story with a heart wrenching topic of infertility and what it does to couples. The writing is top notch and the story is touching and moving. Within the breadth of only 45 pages, you will understand the ins ‘n outs and ups ‘n downs of this couple’s situation. Beautifully done.

You really feel for both these characters. You understand how Kevin thinks it's time to stop the treatments and that they are being pulled apart and yet you feel for Janelle and her determination to have a baby. The inspirational theme is sprinkled in delightfully to bring the reader that much more hope in their own life no matter what trials and tribulations they too might be dealing with.

This short little read is a treat and a pleasure. Highly recommended. I’ll be looking for more from this author.

Something Better by Gail R. Delaney



Something Better by Gail R. Delaney
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (228 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Andrea Parker made a career out of romance, except hers was the kind that happened between the pages of a book. Or, now, on the big screen when her best selling novels are adapted to film. Just because she writes romance doesn't mean she believes in happily ever after.

David Bishop's face---and okay, yeah, much of his body---is known world wide as the Hottest Bachelor in Hollywood. But just like the rest of the world, he is smitten with the brilliant and talented Andi Parker. Little did he know the easy part would be convincing her to give him a chance

Just like in the novels, enter the 'dastardly bastardly' villain to screw up their potential Happily Ever After.
Gail R. Delaney fans will be celebrating the fact that after three years Gail has written another book. And what a book! In an interview I read recently, Gail mentions her list of things she’d never do. Happily with Something Better Gail has ignored her list and written about a best-selling author AND a Hollywood star!

Andrea Parker, divorcee and single Mom has found her niche in life. She has her successful writing career, her son Jake and her staunch friend Maggie. What more could a girl want when life is so good to her now? Not the hunk-of-the-month mega-Hollywood star, that’s for sure, even if she fancies the pants off him. She’s a romance writer and can put her fantasies into a book. Life’s too good to mess with, but that’s before she demonstrates a kiss to an eager actress.

David Bishop, Hollywood’s Golden Boy meets his match when author and script coordinator Andi Parker demonstrates how to play a scene of reunion between himself and his leading lady. According to the song, A Kiss is just a Kiss, but whoever wrote that line hadn’t been kissed by Andi Parker. And that’s all it takes for his well-ordered life to unravel.

Gail provides plenty of hang-ups, conflicts and agro in the story, but they are so well presented they are seamless and add to the pace and promise, and the major problem goes by the name of Lawrence, or Bonehead, or Pinky!! To find out why, you’ll just have to keep turning the pages, and once you’ve turned the first, you’ll be reluctant to put the book down until you’ve turned the last page.

Gail R Delaney’s writing is fast paced, smooth, and vivid. Near the end of the book there are several small typos that detract from the pace, but by then you are so involved with all the characters and action you can skip over them without being completely hauled out of the story.

Let’s hope Gail doesn’t wait for another three years to give us her next book.

Reyn's Redemption by Beth Cornelison



Reyn's Redemption by Beth Cornelison
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: Full (159 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Larkspur

To claim her love, first he must reconcile his past…and catch a killer.

When firefighter Reyn Erikson returns to the small Louisiana town that branded him a killer, he doesn’t want trouble. He plans to slip in, help his hospitalized grandmother, and slip out again as silent as smoke. Instead he runs into two unintended flashpoints: his grandmother’s plea to find the truth behind his mother’s death. And sexy redhead Olivia Crenshaw.

Olivia has found evidence that her late father, the former sheriff, suspected Reyn’s mother was murdered. The truth is still hiding somewhere in this town, and only Reyn can give his grandmother—and himself—the peace they both deserve.

Since Olivia plans to investigate with or without him, Reyn has little choice. From the start, her tenacity and inner strength earn his respect. Despite her reservations about his priorities, Olivia is irresistibly drawn to the handsome firefighter with a uniform full of medals and a past full of mysteries.

The deeper they dig into the past, the more they uncover dark secrets that threaten their sizzling attraction—and draw a killer out of hiding.

Battered by a demon of his own making Reyn faces his past, a past full of heartache and pain, a past that’s convinced him he’s unable to love. While going through her attic Olivia finds evidence that her sheriff father uncovered before his death, evidence that will bring her and Reyn together to fight an all too real demon from both of their pasts. But small towns have long memories, loose lips and short tempers. Will they be able to unravel the secrets to the truth. Will they succumb to the sizzling attraction between them, but most of all will they survive?

Beth Cornelison wows her readers with her titillating story line/plot with this tense, edge of your seat, page turning thriller. She is a wonderful storyteller as is evident in her edgy, descriptive, flowing dialogue. She intimates us with her exceptional characters, characters who jump from the pages screaming “Read Me”. Her tortured hero, Reyn will make all romance readers swoon wanting to tear down the self imposing walls he’s built. And her heroine Olivia is the peaches and cream of every girl next door mixed with an alluring seductress.

Her cast of small town supporting characters are all interesting in their own way and all vital to the story. Her romance is full of pit falls and obstacles for her hero and heroine to either overcome or fall into and we’re one minute certain of love and the next certain it won’t work, but you’re always finding yourself cheering them on. Her love scenes while hot and full of spicy details are sensual, sweet and meaningful.

Ms. Cornelison brings us a wonderful contemporary romance full of suspense, full of romance and full of mysteries to be solved. Be ready for a roller coaster ride of emotions while you enjoy this wonderful novel.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Bet by Wendy Campbell



The Bet by Wendy Campbell
Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short (11k words)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A simple game of darts turns into a high-speed, romantic adventure for Samantha Brandt. As the bet’s loser, Sam is required to go on a blind date. An experience she’d much rather do without. But one glimpse at the Anonymous Dates, Inc video of Max Webb has Sam questioning all her reservations.

What begins as a liberating, sensual experience turns into a hair-raising brush with the law, one that puts Sam’s life at risk. Through the web of deceptions, can Sam determine friend from foe and grasp an opportunity for love?

Author Wendy Campbell’s short venture into suspense gives us the speedy and somewhat breath-taking The Bet. Samantha, set up oh-so against her wishes, is normally just a tad shy, enough so she’s never even worn the silky little black dress she tosses in her suitcase. A bet is a bet though, so she’s going to let her sister set up, and not with a friend or even the friend of a friend…but through a dating service!

Sam’s sister Rebecca is a hoot. Sisters! A lot of us can really sympathize with simply being bulldozed into something and a lot of the sister interaction is incredibly funny. Then of course there is Max, and we are intrigued at once because he’s not just handsome and outdoorsy, but in a flash suit and driving…well, never mind. The question is, just who is the fraud here?

Things move along at a pretty quickly but more questions pop up. Things go awry at an almost farcical rate, and truthfully, there’s more comedy here than suspense, but it all comes with a lot of questions about exactly what is really going on. Campbell builds tension skillfully. From moment to moment, this story becomes less and less predictable. Plausibility may have departed, but originality more than makes up for it.

The Bet is a short, fun and unexpectedly entertaining diversion.