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Friday, December 16, 2011

Kiss Me Goodnight by Patti Ann Colt

Kiss Me Goodnight by Patti Ann Colt
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (300 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

SUMMER LEFEY blazed to the top of the art world with her painting genius. When she returns to Echo Falls, Texas, for her grandfather’s funeral, she collides with her childhood crush – now a sexy cop. He snares her heart with romance and passion, but falling in love isn't enough. To have him, she must return to a place she never wanted to go.

TOM APPLEGATE, a dedicated police officer, relishes small-town life and longs for the happiness his parents have. When he reunites with Summer, he thinks he’s found the missing piece of his dream, but falling in love only complicates matters. To have her, he must give up the home of his heart.

Friends, career, family…Can one make the ultimate sacrifice for love?

Texas is a big place, but it's filled with little towns with the small town magic, the long lasting roots of family, and love. Welcome to Echo Falls, Texas, the town featured in Kiss Me Goodnight. This is my first visit there, and I fell in love with the people that make up Echo Falls. Especially the Applegate family.

Summer LeFey was once a part of Echo Falls. But the desperate desire to go after her dream to paint took her far from Texas, and severed the connection she had with her grandfather. It's been years since she's spoken with her grandfather, after he made it clear how he felt when Summer left. Now it's time for Summer to come home. Summer is tough, she's committed to her painting, but she doesn't apply the same heartfelt emotion she puts in her art into her real life. And until she meets Tom and gets a glimpse of his close knit family, she never knew what she was missing.

Tom Applegate had a good relationship with Summer's grandfather. His feelings towards Summer are a bit hostile and angry at first, but once he gets to know her and spends time with the woman, his emotions quickly change. He knows he shouldn't get involved with her. There's a reason she stayed away from Echo Falls for so long, so does he really have a chance at getting Summer to stay? His dreams revolve around Echo Falls, and her grandfather's house. Complications arise.

Kiss Me Goodnight is an excellent contemporary romance with a bit of a suspense element. Ms. Colt created such believeable, intriguing characters that readers are sure to fall in love with. I sure did. Summer and Tom's story grabbed me by the heart and held on. Reading about such a family as Tom's kept a smile on my face. I loved this book and want to go back and find the others that belong in the Echo Falls Series. I hope that the author weaves more tales in this wonderful Texas town. My heart has been stolen by Echo Falls and it's charming people, but that's all right with me. I don't mind a bit!

Readers, if I may make a suggestion. Hurry and get yourself a copy of Kiss Me Goodnight. This touching, warm and fuzzy making love story grabs hold and stays near and dear to the heart if you'll only let it in.

Unscripted by Natalie Aaron & Marla Schwartz

Unscripted by Natalie Aaron & Marla Schwartz
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (283 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed By Dianthus

As a producer on a reality dating show, Abby Edwards knows that true love is a myth. Her career and her friends are all she needs. Right?

When her screenwriter ex makes a hit movie based on their relationship, Abby's faults are projected on screens across the country. Suddenly the fact that her job depends on orchestrating hot tub hook-ups doesn't seem so impressive.

Her friends rally to help. Zoƫ thinks she needs to meet a guy. Stephanie suggests an attitude adjustment. Nancy wants her to get in touch with her inner Goddess. Abby knows they mean well, but she prefers to focus on her work. Unfortunately, she's already embarrassed herself in front of her new boss, Will Harper, who she would find totally crush-worthy if he weren't so irritating.

Abby's about to be reminded that life doesn't follow a script—and good things happen when you least expect it...

Can you really believe in love when you work for a show that proves love is just another commodity to be bought and sold? Living in a big city, working for a reality TV show, Abby Edwards runs into that question all the time. Not believing in love just becomes easier when working in this industry. Until one day when Will Harper comes into her life and things get all turned around. Ten years, filled with life, friends and love happen and then our two characters met again in a meet cute way. Will the same feelings from that long again still be there or will their show be cancelled before it even makes the cut?

This was a great read that really showed what talented writers both Natalie Aaron and Marla Schwartz are. Not once did the story drag or move too quickly, and the story line itself was so believable that it really drew me in. Quite a few times I laughed out loud at the characters, I cried along with them, and felt like these were people that I would know in the real world.

It was a real pleasure to get to read this book, and I know that anyone else who gets the privilege to read this will feel the same way. These are two authors to look out for, not only for their natural talent but also because they know just how to weave a good story without making it look like work in the least. This book will definitely go onto my keeper shelf and I will be looking for these authors again.

In Her Sights by Robin Perini

In Her Sights by Robin Perini
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (236 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

SWAT Team Sniper Jasmine "Jazz" Parker can thread the eye of a needle with a bullet. As the only female sniper in the state of Colorado, Jazz is unique--for more than her extraordinary marksmanship skills and cool head. Jazz Parker and her weapon defend the helpless by exacting swift and uncompromising justice. Not bad for the daughter of the town whore.
After growing up on the seedy side of town, Jazz believed when she'd changed her name and her life at fifteen, she'd buried her past. Twelve years later, she even drove away the one man she believed she could love—ex-Army Ranger Luke Montgomery—to protect her secret.

Then, in a fleeting second, the time ...

Jazz had an ugly past that she has boxed up in her mind and set aside. She’s now a Jefferson County SWAT team's only female sniper and has a new name and a new identity. She is making herself a new life. Then things start going wrong…

Jasmine “Jazz” Parker is a very strong female character. The author gives her a lot of inner strength and has made her a cool, focused cop with no soft spots anywhere. So when her past comes back to haunt her, it shakes up who she is but doesn’t change her determination to do her job and protect the people around her.

Ms. Perini also creates a very strong male character. Luke is a war veteran who is now a journalist searching for a big story. She’s attracted to him but has no room for him in her life; especially not if he wants to write about her. Alone is the way she likes it best. The author takes these two strong but vulnerable characters and sticks them in a life or death situation where they must trust and depend on each other. Ms. Perini also makes them both self-sufficient and hard headed enough that trying to stay alive is secondary to them; they want to catch the killer. They are each trying to protect each other. And just to add a bit more emotional impact to the story, the author adds a child. Luke found out he was a father after he returned from war and he’s just getting used to being one.

This author has the ability to wring your heart out. Both main characters have baggage and Jazz is afraid of love because of her past. As you watch them try to solve the mystery of which person in her past might be in her present, they both share heartache and worries and spend time dancing around the mutual attraction they feel.

The story is a good mystery. I found myself relating to the characters easily. It’s a fast paced story with no let up as Jazz tries to find her enemy and Luke tries to save his daughter. It’ll keep you sitting on the edge of your chair as you read it.

I’m putting my copy in my permanent library. If you enjoy a good suspense/thriller story with a bit of soul searching and romance included, this book is for you.

Once A Rogue by Jayne Fresina

Once A Rogue by Jayne Fresina
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (240 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Freesia

Sometimes a bad boy is just a hero in disguise.

Before Lucasta Collyer resigns herself to an arranged marriage she wants one night of discovery…on her own terms…with a complete stranger. But Lucy’s plan for a single night of anonymous passion is destined for trouble. Her fortress heart, once fiercely protected, is breached by John Carver, a blue-eyed, salty-mouthed, yeoman farmer. He also happens to be a self-professed former rogue. John is brazen, arrogant and refuses to obey orders. He's everything Lucasta shouldn’t want yet she can't resist the challenge.

John has never bowed to nobility, nor will he be the plaything of an imperious, icy-tempered, young hussy. Clearly Lucasta needs a lesson in what it's like to toy with with a man, and it's one he’ll gladly teach her. But this rogue might not be as reformed as he wants everyone to believe.

Can Lucasta and John go back to their own worlds and forget one another after their one night together, or will they risk everything for love?

There’s just something endearing about a woman who wants to lose her virginity to thwart her soon-to-be-bridegroom. From page one of Once A Rogue, Lucasta Collyer proves to be a spitfire in search of life on her own terms, in a time when women were little more than possessions. In fact, the fiery hero and heroine are two of the major attractions in Jayne Fresina’s historical romance, set in 1588.

Quite often in romance novels we see the old adage “opposites attract” played out through a series of spirited encounters. Lucy Collyer and John Carver, however, prove that two like souls can provide just as many fireworks. Both hero and heroine are feisty, headstrong, passionate characters whose pasts have led them to the chance encounter that changes their lives. I was particularly drawn to Lucy, ready to defy all the male figures in her life to get what she wants for the first time.

The plot also captures the reader from the opening scene—Lucy in a bawdy house choosing the man to whom she will give her maidenhead. Disguise and mistaken identity, a night of passion and a morning of reckoning, flight and discovery all move the story along at a steady pace as Lucy and John meet and part repeatedly. Each encounter syncs them more securely together, though they constantly protest their attraction.

The major drawback to Once A Rogue, in my opinion, is not enough historical grounding. Ms. Fresina set her tale during the English Renaissance, a colorful time with the possibility of rich settings and costumes. With my love of the period, I craved the minute details that would set the characters and action firmly in that particular world. Even though much of the novel is set in a rural cottage, I still wanted to revel in that part of the Renaissance as well. And though she does include some well known events, like the defeat of the Armada, they seemed far removed from the action and therefore less part of the world of the novel.

If you enjoy a sexy romp with strong characters vying for control in and outside the bedroom, you will surely want to read Once A Rogue. The title is suppose to refer to John Carver’s past exploits, but it could just as easily describe Lucy’s roguish rebellion. As I said before, they are so much alike they have to be made for each other.

Homecoming by Meg Bellamy

Homecoming by Meg Bellamy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (225 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

When a family illness forces Julie Loring to return home to North Carolina from New York, she is determined to avoid her old love, Dan Williams, and make the speediest possible escape. Her hope is dashed the first night back.

Dan doesn’t know why Julie ran off twelve years earlier, but he’s still in love with her. He wants her to be his wife and mother to his child. Though Julie warns she hasn’t changed, neither can deny the sparks that fly between them.

But Julie left with a secret—one she’s certain will destroy any chance they might have of a future together.

What is it about small towns? Folks either love it or they hate it. In Julie Loring's case, she couldn't wait to hightail it out of Compton's Creek, leaving behind some broken hearts. New York, watch out! But then, Julie is forced to come back and handle a situation, and she has to face those she left behind all those years ago.

Julie Beth Loring, now simply going by Julie, doesn't like poverty. She's not fond of wasting time in small towns when she feels bigger and better is waiting elsewhere. She's stubborn, very opinionated, and she sticks to what she feels no matter the outcome. The man she left behind twelve years ago wants answers, and he's not going to go away quietly. It's time to settle the ghosts of Julie and Dan's past, whether she wants to or not.

Dan Williams never got over Julie. He was devastated when she just packed up and left without a word, and without a real good-bye. Seeing her again after all these years has brought out old feelings, some anger, and new feelings. Things have changed in his life, and he seeks Julie's love and acceptance. He knows her feelings about staying in Compton's Creek, but that doesn't keep him from trying. All he has to do is break down her defenses, get her to fall in love all over again, and show her that life in a small town isn't all that bad.

Ms. Bellamy creates a jam packed emotional punch in Homecoming. This author takes this couple on a wild journey of second chances. With a loss of an important person, the mixed emotions of a child, and plenty of love, this story gives off a heartwarming vibe of settling down and starting a new dream. The characters are so well created that it's easy to relate to them, feel their emotions, and get angry or happy at their actions. The book had me hanging on to every word. I was hooked on from the get go. I had plenty of angst as the story progressed, wondering how Julie and Dan were going to get through this when both are stubborn and don't give up easily. I was surprised at the turn of events that swayed one of them into changing their minds.

I enjoyed Homecoming very much. The story and people that brought it to life found a place in my heart and in my mind long after the last page was read. It's a beautifully write contemporary that tugged on my heartstrings, and readers, if you love contemporary stories set in a small town, then why not get yourself a copy of Homecoming and allow Julie, Dan, and the rest of the family to find their way into your heart as well?

Dylan by CH Admirand

Dylan by CH Admirand
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (349 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Nymphaea


Dylan Garahan might be an old hand at lassoing fillies, but one night at the Lucky Star club, and he ends up wrapping his rope around someone that even his formidable strength can't tame. She's wily and beautiful... and she's his new boss. Dylan's had his heart broken before, but even an honest cowpoke has to wrestle with temptation...


Ronnie DelVecchio might be fresh off the bus from New Jersey, but she's a hard-edged businesswoman and has had her fill of men she can't trust—although she might consider getting off her high horse for that big, handsome rancher with a Texas drawl.

Cowboys, a little naked time, and lot of construction fun.

This story reeled me in quickly. The writing is tight and the story line is exciting. The characters don't just fall madly in love moments after of meeting. There's a chase. There's a peacock dance of sorts that has them both trying to decide if it's worth trying to have a something between them. And being able to see the characters from the first book, Tyler, I felt like I was reading about old friends.

There's some suspense in this heated story. Ronnie's got someone mad at her and her store gets destroyed. I felt bad. I mean, I really felt the pain she endured seeing her work slashed and crushed. I could see him being the one to help her, and I liked Dylan's role. He's the construction muscle. CH Admirand writes him so well, I could really visualize him there working and flexing to right the wrongs. Yum. I loved the way Ronnie puts him off. Yes, she gives in here and there, but overall she gives him a run for his money. I don't want to get into the details and ruin the story, but I enjoyed the heat and the way things played out. Dylan and Ronnie are a great pair.

If you want a story that's got heat, heart and a little mystery to keep you guessing, then you need to read Dylan. I recommend it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas In Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis

Christmas In Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (704 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Iris

Love awaits you in Lucky Harbor . . .

Simply Irresistible

After losing her boyfriend and her job, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim her inheritance-a ramshackle inn nestled in the little town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. She sees the potential for a new home and a new career-if she can give the inn the makeover it needs. Enter Jax, a tall, handsome contractor who knows exactly what Maddie needs...

The Sweetest Thing

Helping her sister set up the family inn is just the thing to make Tara forget her ex-husband and focus on her new life. Until she meets a sexy, green-eyed sailor determined to keep her hot, bothered, and in his bed. When her ex reappears, Tara must confront her past and decide what she really wants.

If the sisters are lucky, they might just find that everything their hearts desire is right here in Lucky Harbor.

Written in a way that almost guarantees “happily ever after”, this compilation is a great way to spend a long, snowy weekend. You need to supply the roaring fireplace, hot beverage, and someone to cuddle next to . . . . but Ms. Shalvis will supply the rest!

Simply Irresistible:

For someone who feels they are a “loser” and “mousy”, Maddie certainly does her best to browbeat her sisters into keeping and improving their inheritance. She also doesn’t do terribly on the boyfriend end of things either . . .

This first story in the collection outlines the three sisters' backstories, and gives us a glimpse into their personalities. It also provides a well-defined story and plot you can lose yourself in. I always find it a much more enjoyable story if I feel sad to leave the characters behind at the end of a story. I was not disappointed.

There is plenty of anxiety and fighting and tension throughout the story. Maddie (our heroine) meets an irresistible man even before she meets the town. She suffers from anxiety about everything (from being liked to riding the ferris wheel), so between her job loss, a new guy, the inheritance, and her sisters, it’s anything but smooth sailing!

Fortunately, Jax is a patient and caring guy, and the sisters have wine and yoga as well as a box of “recipe cards” from their mother.
Even though there is a “Christmas Tragedy”, happily ever after is just around the corner!

The Sweetest Thing

Who knew? It’s summertime, and Tara is still in Lucky Harbor with her sisters. The girls have decided to continue with their plans for the Inn their mother left them, and despite obstacles, things seem to progress.
Tara, though, has her life explode in her face. She spent time in Lucky Harbor as a teen and her past love and their secret has come back to confuse and complicate her life. Lucky for her, Ford Waker is also patient (for the most part) and a caring man.

Opening up to her past means Tara gets to grow and even carry on one of her mother’s traditions. But the story isn’t all growth and love. It gets downright hysterical when Tara’s Nascar-driving ex-husband comes to town, determined to win her back. Tara isn’t having it, but Ford isn’t so sure. You will end up rolling on the floor with laughter or smacking your head and saying “men!” (Possibly both!)

A nice continuation of the previous story, it gives enough back story to let even a new reader enjoy the sisters and the town.

Both stories were full-length and allowed the reader to fully enjoy the characters and the town. My biggest complaint is that we don’t get to hear Chloe’s (the youngest sister) full story. (although there are plenty of hints in there!)

Whether you pick this up for the holiday season or just for a GOOD read, be sure to savor every word! This one just might be on your “keeper” list!

The Relic by Colleen Helme

The Relic by Colleen Helme
Publisher: Mundania Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (195 pgs)
Heat: Sensual
Rated 4 Books
Review by Snapdragon

In the aftermath of a recent battle, Callista has become the sole guardian of the relic, a powerful crystal full of darkness. She hopes to use it to turn the shadowbeasts back into the men they once were, but so far, has not been successful.

Unless she can change them, she will have to kill them, and that is not an option she is willing to face. Left on her own in the Ruins of Belton, the relic seems to grow more powerful. Desperate to find the answer of its power, she seeks the origins of the relic in the Eastern Province.

As Justin battles a deadly enemy, Callista is caught in a personal fight between the forces of good and evil. The relic is the key to unleashing an even darker evil that will destroy everything, and Callista's determination is the only thing that will save them all.

Ms. Helme's intriguing fantasy, The Relic, starts with an eerie and enthralling prologue, introducing the powerful Lucien. He is at once aware of one he will see as foe: Callista. She, although well-meaning, can hardly be a match for him in power or expertise, but nonetheless, they are connected through the energy of the crystal relic. She will not release her hold, and struggles to keep control. Callista is not merely power-hungry - other lives are in her hands. The shadowbeasts, her wards as keeper of the relic, plead for release: A return to true life, or a merciful death.

Callista, still learning, still struggling for control, is caught between a great dark force, and the good. She has mixed emotions about her struggle, and about the one she loves: Justin.

We wonder about her love, as it seems Connor is the one best friend to her... we have to wonder if she really knows her own heart. Yet, will it turn out that he has his own agenda? Somehow, we never quite trust anyone in this tale.

The love story is there, and true and poignant, but occasionally the complexity of the story overshadows the emotions. Fans of the darker paranormals will love this, however. There are many touching moments and somehow they crop up even in among the darker events.

The crystal remains all-important through. Even in her dreams, Callista cannot escape its effects. Understanding the control of that power, and how one wizard might use it, or block the efforts of another, is a challenge to readers.

Dark and eerie, The Relic is also heartfelt and complex.

The Darkest Secrets by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Secrets by Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (410 pgs)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Peppermint

Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when the immortal warrior is chained and isolated to protect those he loves, death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty….

Haidee is a demon-assassin, raised to despise Amun's kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her.

This is one of the most entertaining series I have ever had the pleasure of reading and The Darkest Secrets lived up to the expectations set by previous installments. Amun, keeper of the demon of secrets, was a warrior that I really didn’t know much about coming into the story but always intrigued me. How much can you really know about a person who cannot open his mouth? Since his demon absorbs all of the secrets of those around him to speak would mean for him to reveal all of the absorbed secrets including those of his closest friends. This left his character a bit reclusive throughout the series until now.

Even better, the identity of his mate made the story that much more enticing since Haidee was the woman who had murdered his best friends hundreds of years ago. When Amun should have been trying to kill her, he found himself instead protecting the fierce woman. While the relationship seems as if it would be doomed from the beginning, these two characters actually worked well together and complemented one another. Of all the women, Haidee may have been the one with the odds against her most. Even though Amun accepts her, his friends are sure to want blood for her previous actions.

I was captivated by this book to the point where I could not put it down. I am not sure which was the more gripping, the main plot of Amun and Haidee, or all of the other sub plots in this story.

While this may be the seventh full-length book in this series, there are also quite a few anthologies where the characters in this series have appeared. Additionally, while I think anyone can enjoy this story alone, I would recommend to readers that they read the previous books. They are all extremely entertaining and will leave any reader wanting more the same way The Darkest Secrets left me anticipating the next story.

A Demon Does It Better by Linda Wisdom

A Demon Does It Better by Linda Wisdom
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (319 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Lovely witch Lili Carter takes a job at a paranormal hospital where patients have been disappearing. There she encounters Jared, a dangerously sexy demon on a mission that gets Lili into a world of trouble. Lili can't avoid Jared for long and soon they find themselves creating a whole new kind of magick...

Lili is searching for a witch friend that just “disappeared” from the hospital she was working at, but what she finds is a demon in the dungeon below…

Ms. Wisdom makes her heroine a witch who heals and nurtures her friendships. Lili is kind, will defend her patients and friends to the death, and hasn’t had a love for a long time. The author really caught my attention with her demented demon. He’s a hunk that went a bit crazy from being bit by a vampire and the doctor running the hospital is using him for his own ugly purposes. He’s being tortured, they’ve blocked his mind from certain memories, and the ogre custodians love to beat on him. I could feel my hackles rise when I started reading about him. The author does a good job of making you care by sharing her characters' emotions with you.

This story is fast paced, has a nice mix of paranormal folks, and danger around every corner. You know the administrator has secrets, but you don’t learn just what kind until almost the end of the story. I especially enjoyed Lili’s friends. They may have all been paranormal, but they acted just like my good friends I have in my life. They always know more than you want them to, and they’ll pester you to get the truth. Ms. Wisdom must have a few of those in her life also because she writes so accurately about them.

The author uses historical references to enhance her depiction of the dungeon under the hospital and to indicate how aged the witches and demons of the story are. That’s a very nice touch. The story works and has enough detail to it to make it seem authentic, even if it’s a world we don’t live in.

I enjoyed this read and think you will, too, if you like fantasy. It has good action, you care about the characters and it’s the classic fight between good and evil. Where can you go wrong?

Where She Belongs by Cindy Procter-King

Where She Belongs by Cindy Procter-King
Publisher: Gale – Cenege - Five Star
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (240 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Camellia

She never wants to go home again.

For Jess Morgan, Destiny Falls holds too many painful memories. Nine years ago, a logging accident near the remote timber town killed her dad and her high school sweetheart. Despite Jess’s broken heart, her mother immediately sought comfort with another man. That choice tore Jess apart and drove her to seek a life far away. But now fate steps in, and family obligations force her return home. Before long, she’s convinced that persuading her mom to live with her in Toronto will repair their bond and Jess’s own sense of belonging. However, she doesn’t count on a long-ago friend re-entering her life and challenging those same convictions.

Rugged forester Adam Wright believes in family, roots, and not running from heartache. Now, all he wants is to help Jess break down the walls of the lonely sanctuary she’s built for herself and heal her past hurts. But it’s not until she rejects his proposal that Adam realizes his dogged persistence has pushed her even further away—not at all what he intended. Has he lost his chance? Or can he convince Jess that where she truly belongs is with him…forever?

Stuck in a quagmire of heartbreaking experiences in her teens, Jess Morgan’s ability to move on emotionally is stalled even though she functions at top speed in her upscale merchandizing career in Toronto. When she must return to Destiny Falls where she experienced these life-changing hurts, she is swamped with misgivings. Her veneer of big city sophistication gets chipped away little by little. Whether she feels like she has come “home” or not, the people of Destiny Falls believe she has and draw her into the web of small community living.

Adam Wright, whom Jess had a crush on when she was fourteen and he was seventeen, is Jess’s best friend Molly’s cousin and comes to pick Jess up at the airport while Molly stays with Jess’s mother Nora, whose second husband has died.

Adam is comfortable in his own skin. He put his roots down deep in Destiny Falls and has that sense of belonging he needs. He is just as tenacious, steadfast, and persistent as his cousin Molly. He works to make Destiny Falls a better and more prosperous place to live He works hard in his business to obtain contracts that generate jobs and good wages for the local people. However, his attitude that others should like and be happy with what he is happy with has cost him dearly. Crysta and his unborn child are lost to him because of this attitude and now it colors his view of Jess whom he feels abandoned her mother and her hometown. He doesn’t know the circumstances and is too quick to judge.

Nora, Jess’s mother, is not blameless in Jess’s feeling she doesn’t really belong in Destiny Falls or anywhere else for that matter. Caught up in her own needs and loves over the years, Nora lost her connection with her only child. She feels she has no right to make demands on Jess even though grief and regrets have sapped her vitality. Some of her choices have driven Jess away, yet she longs for absolution.

As Jess inches her way toward a decision about where she belongs and about her willingness to risk being hurt again, she tells herself that being alone keeps her safe from hurt. However, as she and Nora open up to each other and Adam eases his way into her life, thoughts, and heart, Jess fears breaking free of her cocoon of isolation and feels a sense of panic about flying out into a world where emotional dangers abound.

Cindy Procter-King weaves together the lives of her characters with a skill that creates a beautiful pattern of love with just enough darkness in the design to highlight the beauty of unconditional friendship, familial love that ebbs and flows but never disappears, and best of all, she weaves in the love of a man and woman who suffered bitter grief and loss but come out of that dark part of life to the glorious light of true love.

Where She Belongs is a gentle story that touches the heart.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day Shift by Missy Jane

Day Shift by Missy Jane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (209 Pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Foxglove

The sun's not the only thing that's too hot to handle.

President Vardin isn’t the first vampire politician to make empty promises. Humans can work at night, he says. Humans will be safe on the streets, he says. It’s all bull. I’m still stuck on day shift at Langley’s Round The Clock Emporium, trying to earn enough to live from night to night.

If I thought the sun’s harsh rays had turned society upside down, watch what happens when I witness a murder in the alley. The police keep bombarding me with questions until a detective with a bad attitude walks in and takes over. He’s unbelievably hot, way out of my league, and way, way out of my comfort zone. Because he’s the one thing I fear most. A vampire.

Then I learn why the police seem so interested in me. My ex-husband is drawing a series of murders in his new comics. I’m in every one of them, and it looks like I’m supposed to be the last victim. The detective’s interest in my past—and his protective instincts—are bordering on unprofessional, but I can’t seem to bring myself to care.

Because the last place I should want to be is the safest place on earth…a vampire’s embrace.

Missy Jane has written a fast paced thrill ride, filled with murder, betrayal and hidden plots galore.

The President is a vampire who assures humans they are safe to work at night and be out after dark. With humans the minority, he swears they will be protected. Zaria Stonewell isn’t so sure, and so she works the day shift, keeping herself away from the horrors of vampire that terrify her. At least, until she witnesses a ‘biting incident’ from the window at work, one that becomes a murder.

Zaria knows this will boost her nightmares up even more than before. The detective assigned to the case, Gregory Parsons is a vampire, hot and sexy, but Zaria wants nothing to do with him. When she finds out her ex-husband has been drawing comics of sadistic vampire murders, each involving her in some way, Zaria is worried and afraid. When Detective Parsons offers to protect her, she is apprehensive, but agrees in spite of her feelings.

But he has a hidden agenda, and soon Zaria finds she is in more danger than ever, as events from her past resurface to dog her steps. When things go horribly wrong, Zaria has no idea who she can trust, but knows she has to get out of sight and lay low. Can Zaria find a way to get through her nightmarish past and trust a vampire? Once Greg betrays that trust, can she still depend on him to keep her alive? Can they uncover who is behind the whole plot, and come out of the mess unscathed?

I like books that keep me guessing, and this one kept me on edge right to the end. I like her alternate world where humans are in the minority and vampires are the authority figures. The characters are well defined and multifaceted, and the story is original and intriguing.

Zaria Stonewell has been on her own since she was a teen. She is strong and determined to take care of herself. When her nightmares of the past become all too real, she has to face her fears and trust someone with her past. I like Zaria for her courage and her smart mouthed attitude, and her ability to adapt when necessary. I also like that she doesn’t immediately condemn Greg, but waits to find out his reason for the betrayal.

Gregory Parsons is handsome, hot and a vampire, everything Zaria fears and despises. But he is also her best chance at surviving the coming events. He is strong and willing to protect Zaria from being harmed. Once he discovers he’s been tricked into betraying her, he does everything he can to help her and keep her safe. I liked that he was able to admit he was wrong, and that he would do what he could to make it up to her. And he gets the injuries to prove it.

The secondary characters in this are all well defined. There were a couple of big surprises in this, like Zaria’s vampire landlord who isn’t what he seems to be, and the truth behind her philandering ex-husband. This story kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, and I was surprised several times at what was going on. This is a great thrill ride of a story, and I recommend this to everyone who likes a good murder mystery with a special twist.