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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Left at the Altar by K.M. Daughters

Left at the Altar by K.M. Daughters
Gospa Journeys, Volume 1
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Short Story (92 pages)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Periwinkle

Despite Sam Mackenzie's deep-rooted belief that marriage can turn two loving people into monsters, his all-encompassing love for Emma Jordan spurs him to propose before leaving the country bound for Valselo, the Adriatic village where millions believe the Mother of God speaks to three visionaries.

Despite Emma's love for Sam, she is unable to envision a life in a remote town on a distant continent. Emma refuses his proposal and spends the next three years making a life without Sam. When she's left at the altar, a loving conspiracy between her parents and parish priest-Sam's uncle-brings Emma to Valselo and an inevitable reunion with Sam. God seems to be orchestrating a second chance, but both believe they have had good reasons to turn away from God's guidance. Will they listen to Our Lady's messages which call humanity to open their hearts to God's mercy and love? Or will they lose each other a second and final time?

Being Left at the Altar can sometimes be a blessing in disguise!

Sam Mackenzie wanted Emma Jordan to become his wife, but the distance he wants her to travel is just unthinkable in her mind. Fast forward three years, it's her wedding day but the groom isn't Sam and he doesn't even have the decency to show. Why has God let this happen? Should Emma have faith that everything happens for a reason and move on? Follow her story as she re-unites with the man she has always truly loved and she lets her faith in him and God finally show her how to open her heart to a life filled with love and joy.

This story was a very quick and sweet read to fill an afternoon. The characters are very personable and the descriptions of the flowers and churches involved are very vivid. You can almost smell the roses in the garden scenes and I think the one with an overabundance of white roses would be a gorgeous sight to see.

I would highly recommend this short story to anyone who is looking for a sweet and inspirational romance written by a clearly talented author to enjoy.

Ring of Lies by Victoria Howard

Ring of Lies by Victoria Howard
Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When accountant Daniel Elliott dies in a car accident, his widow, Grace, is overcome with grief…and panic. Daniel was controlling and their marriage loveless, but he always took care of her.

Or so she thought.

Grace soon discovers Daniel kept secrets: an alias, mob ties, a list of numbers, a mysterious beach house in Florida….and a girlfriend who looks like Grace. Swallowing her fear, she flies to Miami to claim the house Daniel left her. But the price of her curiosity is peril. Underworld figures stalk her. And handsome, troubled FBI agent Jack West has crossed precarious paths with Grace before. With little to go on and danger at every turn, Grace must depend on Jack to help her navigate the criminal world of south Florida, and find the truth behind the Ring of Lies.

Betrayed by the one man she should have been able to trust…

My heart ached for Grace from the moment I started reading. Her world collapsed when her husband died, but she had no idea how much worse things were about to get. A stranger at Daniel's funeral threatens Grace and implies that Daniel was involved in some illegal activities. At first Grace refuses to believe the man she’s been married to for ten years could have kept so much from her, but it isn’t long before she is forced to face the truth.

Grace was a very likable character. In the beginning she is simply a long suffering housewife who was married to an emotionally and mentally abusive husband. However, I was very pleased that Grace didn’t stay that way for the entire length of the story. She didn’t change overnight. Ms. Howard gradually drew Grace out of her shell as the story progressed. This made Grace’s character development feel very natural. I enjoyed watching Grace assert her independence as it began to slowly sink in that she was free of Daniel’s influence. I was also pleased that she developed a back bone and a good dose of courage, which she certainly needed as she dug deeper into the truth of her dead husband’s activities. However, she was stubbornly naïve throughout a good portion of the story. As I read, I had a large part of the mystery figured out, but Grace simply refused to see the truth. There were times when I wanted to reach through the pages and smack some sense into her. I’ll admit I was a little worried that Grace would wilt when the final pieces of the puzzle slid into place. However, I was pleased to discover Grace was truly a stronger woman by the end of the story.

Jack West is the perfect hero for Grace. He’s a tough FBI agent dedicated to his job, but that is just one of the layers to his interesting character. He’s also the father of Emilia, a very young infant. Jack isn’t perfect. He has a very flawed relationship with Emilia’s mother that makes Jack a more believable character. While his relationship with Emilia’s mother is strained at best, it is clear that he cares for Emilia more than anything in the world. The scenes where Jack takes care of Emilia really showcase the softer side of his personality and really made him come alive in my mind.

Jack and Grace have chemistry to burn, but their timing always seems to be off. When they first met, Grace was still married. Now that Daniel is gone, Grace learns that Jack is a father. Ms. Howard did an excellent job of balancing these everyday problems against the more extraordinary situations Grace and Jack faced as they dug into Daniel’s past. It really helped ground the story and made Grace and Jack’s relationship feel more realistic.

Ring of Lies was definitely an enjoyable read. Not only did the suspense keep me turning pages, but the romance between Grace and Jack was compelling. Fans of romantic suspense will certainly want to check it out.

Moon of Ripening by Diane Davis White

Moon of Ripening by Diane Davis White
Publisher: HeartSent Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (238 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Nightshade

When Lakota warrior Thunder Heart, who is destined to be a leader of his people, saves the lives of two white women during Red Cloud's War, he places his family and, indeed, his entire village at risk. Can Thunder Heart keep these women safe? Will his act of compassion cause the death of his people?

Will his people demand the abandonment or death of these women in order to avoid the wrath of the Bluecoats or perhaps, that of Red Cloud?

Uncertain of the outcome, he knows only one thing: He desires the pale-haired beauty, Victoria Abernathy, and will do anything to insure her safety.

Powerful and engaging, Moon of Ripening transports the reader to a world of warriors and chiefs in a time when the west was the domain of an ancient and proud people. The attention to historical detail in this novel adds a new dimension to the life of the Lakota during the 1860s. The author has captured the savage beauty of the time along with the cruelty and mistrust that had been ingrained in both the whites and the Indians alike.

Throughout this book, we follow Thunder Heart, a Lakota chief, Victoria, daughter of a preacher, and Lilith, Victoria’s mother as their lives are intertwined with the Lakota tribe that is attempting to avoid the United States Calvary. During this journey, all three are forced to reexamine all they have been taught about the other race in an attempt to survive this brutal time. As their journey progresses the tenderness that Thunder Heart feels for Victoria grows even in the face of impossible odds.

Strong and powerful, this love story captures the imagination in a way unique to the Native American people. This book is one that I loathed to leave for any reason until I reached the final page. It has anything and everything I look for in a historical romance then goes a step further by focusing on the environment and events around the main couple, not just on the couple themselves. This was a refreshing change to the more formulistic romances that have been available over the past two decades.

An absolute masterpiece, this book awakens the romance and strength of an era when nothing was certain and individuals had to depend on one another for their very survival. I will be actively seeking new works from this author and hope she doesn’t keep me waiting long.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare

In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Chivalry is far from undead...

Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell, is one of the few men in the ton who can claim to be a knight in shining armor- because that's precisely what he was before being turned into a vampyre. When he spies a damsel in distress in the midst of a storm in Hyde Park, his natural instinct is to rush to her aid...

But not every woman needs to be rescued...

Weather-controlling witch Rhiannon Sinclair isn't caught in a storm-she's the cause of it. She's mortified to have been caught making trouble by the imposing earl, but she doesn't need any man-never has, and is sure she never will...

But when Rhiannon encounters Matthew again, her powers go awry and his supernatural abilities run amok. Between the two of them, the ton is thrown into an uproar. There's never been a more tempestuous scandal...

A man born in chivalrous times past is no match for a feisty and seductive Scottish weather witch, and watching the lightening flash and his fangs pop is only the beginning of the fun in store for readers in Ms. Dare’s latest romance.

First, this is a great stand alone book. For fans of the series, they’ll get to see one of the Westfield brothers again and one of Rhiannon’s sister witches. If this is the first time for a reader, those same people will come across as interesting and fun secondary characters. Either kind of reader will find entertainment and humor throughout and should find that Ms. Dare has once again provided a great storytelling experience.

Rhiannon has her story this time around and she is written as a woman who is loyal, fiercely protective, loving and giving but with bit of a temper to rival Zeus or Thor when crossed. Perhaps it has something to do with her propensity to hurl some well placed lightning bolts or two but the results are giggle-worthy and it was fun.

In the past, I believe I got a sense that her dad was a bit absent minded and at first, it didn’t seem that big a deal. The author lets a reader in on a big secret that presents a very real and touching emotional hook. It made me want to give Rhiannon a hug. Having a parent who seems disinterested in a child has deep ramifications no matter how adept the offspring become at hiding its affects. I was pretty impressed with how the author wove those sentiments throughout the story, and how it touched and influenced the other characters.

One person in particular gets the brunt of the heroine’s ire and saucy teasing and that’s Matthew, the hero. I was tickled when I found out that this man who’d given up on hope and accepted his life’s course should actually find love. I tremendously enjoyed watching him fall apart. Ms. Dare was deliciously coy with the details; it started out small, like a pebble going downhill turning into a landslide. It picked up speed and bowled the poor guy over with the truth. For all his knowledge and experience over his vast existence, the hero simply had no clue about the true power of love. It was pure romance.

As I mentioned before, there are some great secondary characters that spice up this tale and many revolve around the heroine’s best friend Cait’s husband, Dash. He has brothers and they all become protective of Rhiannon to the point of hilariousness. Don’t get me wrong, there are some serious, all out spooky moments where I didn’t know if someone was going to get shredded to ribbons or dead. Ms. Dare balanced the drama and suspense well enough that it never bogged the story down but enhanced the telling of it. There is also one special character that really had the makings for a vicious enemy. The person was certainly capable of evil and nasty attacks and I couldn’t figure out which way to think. Amazingly enough, the author chose the high road in a very unconventional battle that tested the mettle of the heroine. It was Rhiannon who made the difference and who saw clearly what the true nature of the threat was. What an impressive bit of writing!

The only person or part I didn’t care for was Aunt Greer. I guess I’m more vengeful or bloodthirsty because I would have not done what was ultimately done with her. I’ll let readers decide if it was foolish or magnanimous.

In the Heat of the Bite is a delightful romance that paranormal fans can sink their teeth into and find sweet-tart entertainment from beginning to end. The happily ever after was poignant and beautiful. The scenes leading up to it were vastly amusing due to Rhiannon’s fascination with Matthew’s teeth. I found myself laughing and sighing all at the same time. I can’t wait for Alec’s story; it can’t come soon enough.

One thing I do know is it’s a guarantee that Ms. Dare’s next book will be an auto-buy for me. For some reason, I can’t get enough!

Just One Season in London by Leigh Michaels

Just One Season in London by Leigh Michaels
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (375 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

A family that courts together...

Viscount Ryecroft has a beautiful sister he needs to marry off... if only he had the money for her Season in London.

His family is in financial ruins, and his mother is willing to do anything to help her children, including sell herself to the highe st bidder...

Finds passion on their own...

Sophie Ryecroft will sacrifice love to marry for the good of her family... but instead finds passion and solace in an attracti ve alternative.

With so much riding on their one and only Season in London, Rye, Sophie, and Miranda can't help but get hopelessly entangled with all the wrong people...

A chance to make a single lasting impression and hopefully garner a proposal for Sophie, an opportunity to become reacquainted with an old beau and gain a promise for Miranda, and a duty to fulfill by finding a willing and necessary heiress for Rye…all they need is Just One Season in London!

National Bestselling Author Leigh Michaels is well known for historical romances that sweep the reader along for epic adventures. Her characters will have you falling in love right along with them as they search for love in all the right places and manage to find it in the most unexpected places instead. This holds true for Lady Miranda Ryecroft, her son Viscount Ryecroft (Rye) and daughter Miss Sophronia Ryecroft (Sophie).

The Ryecrofts have lost so much since the death of their father and Miranda’s husband. All they have left is land that needs planting, a rambling manor in need of repairs, and their love and devotion to one another. Ms. Michaels has such a poignant way of building the characters up in the minds of the readers, I found myself worrying right along with them, considering all their options and finally rejoicing at how they each find their happily ever after.

Just One Season in London is a Regency historical and Ms. Michaels does a fantastic job of keeping true to the time period. If you’ve read this genre before you know that there are strict rules with the Ton. There are those that have money and title that is inherited and then there is the working class. Oftentimes the two cross when a member of the Ton marries down or one from the working class marries up. Both situations are highly frowned upon because it mixes “bad blood” either way. There is an underlying story about class distinction in Ms. Michael’s story that illustrates this outdated school of thought and the benefits of simply not caring.

Also, I must mention that Ms. Michaels uses a POV technique that I’ve not often seen and is difficult to pull off without confusing the reader. Within the pages of this novel the reader is treated to knowing what is going on with each character simultaneously in any given situation. It doesn’t come off as head hopping so much as a single continuing story where the directions and decisions made by Miranda, Rye and Sophie converge to produce a single fantastic journey.

I laughed, I sighed and I did my very best to steer the charismatic Ryecroft family in the right direction. Lucky for them, Ms. Michaels had their stories all planned out and it was terrific to sit back and watch. If beautiful settings, clever dialogue and heartwarming love stories are what you’re in the mood for then Just One Season in London is a true can’t miss. Move it to the top of you TBR, you won’t be sorry!

Day and Knight by Michelle L. Levigne

Day and Knight by Michelle L. Levigne
All's Fae in Love and Chocolate #1
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Paranormal, contemporary
Length: Short Story (97 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Lily

Glori loved working with children--and not just because children produced magic that fed her own Fae magic. But when her magic started going wonky and all her maintenance spells for the daycare started working backwards, not even her Fae administrator could fix what was wrong.

Lance Knight faced a lonely future, thanks to a family curse that turned him into a mouse at the dark of the moon. Lonely, except for the ghosts of all his angry, misogynistic male ancestors. And he would join them someday, if he didn't find a woman to love him despite the curse.

He needed the kiss of a Faerie princess to break the spell. When he got called to Glori's daycare center to deal with an unbelievable bug problem, and realized she was a Fae, he thought his problems were solved.

Glori hated telling Lance that the Fae didn't have hereditary royalty anymore, but she promised she would try to find him a solution while they worked together to solve her problem. Things got sticky when she realized that she was going through the Fae equivalent of puberty, and Lance might just be the answer to her problem. If only his nasty, ghostly relatives wouldn't keep getting in the way.

A glittering, sparkling fae who adores children, and a pest exterminator who turns into a mouse at full moon. Not the usual combination for protagonists. Did I mention that the fae (Glori) munches chocolate bars like there’s no tomorrow and the exterminator (Lance Knight) trails a legion of family ghosts wherever he goes?

Both have obstacles to overcome which seem insurmountable: Glori’s spells aren’t working any more which means the children in her crèche are no longer protected from disease and bullying; and Lance is trapped with those ghosts until he can find a beautiful Faerie Princess to kiss him and break the spell. Glori? Nope – she’s not a princess. In any case, the ghosts don’t like Glori because, “she’s a bleeding twinkle-butt faerie!”

Humor isn’t lacking in this fast-paced story, not only overall -– for example, Glori’s spells aren’t working because she’s in Need (rather like a dog on heat) -- but also in the details: the ghosts yelled with such force that they stunned a dozen roaches. The conflict to be resolved keeps the reader enthralled to the end: Glori’s biological clock is ticking, and will Lance find his Faerie Princess in time despite being knee-tremblingly attracted to Glori?

Apart from the colony of ancestral ghosts, who are laugh out loud funny, there are few characters populating the story. However, those who are there each have his or her own foibles that endear them to the reader so that I found myself only wanting the best for them.

Once again, Ms. Levigne proves to be the most versatile of authors with a wide variety of fabulous books to her name. It seems her imagination knows no boundaries.

If I have one criticism to make about this one, it lies in being a tad predictable. There aren’t any jaw-dropping revelations, nor any heart-stopping romance. But, then, it doesn’t need those things because it is an easy read, just perfect for a reader in need of a feel-good, quiet, cozy afternoon story.

Taming Rowan by Suzanne Barrett

Taming Rowan by Suzanne Barrett
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (190 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Karin Williams' devastatingly handsome project officer has a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder. Rowan Marsden expected a male engineer and he's not giving Karin an inch. Working conditions are...tense. Even...worse, she must share on-site accommodations with the sexy Brit who she fears will break her heart. What's a girl to do?

If Rowan had his way, he'd never work with a woman. Yet as Karin demonstrates her expertise on the job, he cannot deny his growing respect for her--or his desire. He wants the passion she offers, but not the commitment. Until a horrendous accident at the project site threatens Karin's life, and proves that even a wounded man is destined to love....

Karin knew the project officer on her next assignment was male and didn’t like women, but she figured she can handle the old crotchety fellow anyway. What she didn’t anticipate was that he would be a handsome hunk of a young man and that he would still feel that way.

This author has created a fun premise for her story. She takes an attractive young woman who does a traditionally male job and puts her on-site for said job in an isolated area. Not only must Karin prove her worth as an engineer, she has to deal with the scorn of her boss and the fact that she must share quarters with him due to limited housing. With all this conflict in a cramped travel trailer and a small office, you can all but feel the smoldering fire burst into flame.

Rowan loved once and got burned. He doesn’t care if Karin looks like a goddess, he’s not interested. And she looks too much like his ex-wife anyway. Ms. Barrett makes him a brash, belligerent character that has a heart there somewhere, but he’s not using it. She makes Karin pretty, intelligent, and independent and the two characters clash quite often throughout the story. Rowan is drawn to her and doesn’t want to be and Karin doesn’t always do what she’s told like a good girl. I could easily relate to Karin. Being independent myself, I found it easy to empathize with her position in life.

Watching these two do battle with each other is the most amusing part of the story. There is explicit sex in the story, but it fits. It’s part of Rowan trying to come to terms with his feelings for Karin. Even the story of their engineering feat is good reading. The smaller characters are all interesting, too. This author has created a “family” of engineers. Having the story set in England is an additional bonus. You even get to walk the fell with Karin and Rowan.

Why not get a copy of this book for you and watch these two fight their way to love? It’s a very good read.

Touch If You Dare by Stephanie Rowe

Touch If You Dare by Stephanie Rowe
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (383 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

He's just about the hottest warrior she's ever seen...

Reina Fleming really appreciates a man who's on a mission-especially when he's a badass warrior doing his best to impress her. And Jarvis is charmed by the way Reina's magic touch can soothe his dark side.

But when Jarvis's attention puts her job, her home, and her family in danger, Reina has to decide whether love is worth the price...

She’s working hard on trying to be a reaper for death. He’s trying to stay alive and not explode from the hate and anger he carries around in him. Ideal couple, don’t you think?

Ms. Rowe enjoys using her imagination and has created a story of magic, love, hate, and death that is total fantasy and great fun to read. She creates strong characters who care more about other people than they do themselves. She gives all them psychological hang ups of some kind that they must work through. And you just keep reading happily along to see where her story takes you next and what odd thing they must overcome next.

You have vampires who don’t attack people anymore with women who will stake them because they wish to be bitten. You have a Godfather of love who makes any woman around swoon in ecstasy. A real strange assassin who uses pink Ninja stars to take people out. And there is a whole lot more going on in this story. It’s busy, it flows well, the two main characters are falling love with each other but are too busy to consummate it, and you’ll keep flipping those pages to see how it ends.

This is fantasy at its best, the plot holds together well and Ms. Rowe has some surprises for you. I didn’t anticipate the ending. Of course, I didn’t anticipate a lot of what happened in this book, but I sure did enjoy reading it!

You’ll find yourself rooting for some characters and hoping others fail; the story line grabs you and makes you care about those you’re reading about. It’s also a good romance story. If you like a fun fantasy story with a touch of Abbott and Costello and with lots of action and odd situations salted with a touch of love, you’ll love this story.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Romance Novel by P.J. Jones

Romance Novel by P.J. Jones
Publisher: P.J. Jones
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (75 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Smella Rosepetal must find a millionaire husband to finance her baby’s heart transplant. She flies home to her deputy father’s ranch in Pitchforks, Texas, where she falls in love with Deadward Forest, a wealthy environmentalist vampire.

When a deranged murderer is on the loose in Pitchforks, killing romance heroines, Deadward assumes Smella would be safer without him. Smella turns to her childhood friend, Snake Long, for comfort. But Snake doesn’t have the money to save her baby, so Smella places herself in peril in a desperate hunt for a rich husband.

Time is running out for Smella’s baby, and she must escape the Australian Outback and face down Flabio, an overweight and disgruntled, aspiring cover model, plus enraged vampire wives and their homosexual, vampire, cowboy husbands, a jealous were-gerbil, James Bond, a drunk rodeo clown and Smella’s strange boyfriend who wants to drain her blood, yet is repulsed by her smell

Disco music and dancing prevent any future happiness for Smella and Deadwood.

Romance Novel is exactly what the title promises, and more so. The story is a parody of every romance novel with a hero, heroine and minor characters all struggling to find their place.

Smella Rosepetal is a virgin looking for a rich husband. Not for herself but to enable her baby to have a life saving operation (see the confusion - a virgin with a baby?). She leaves little Joshua or Adam or Austin (his name changes every time he’s mentioned) with her best friend Ebony while she returns to her home town to seek out the richest man she can find.

Her hometown is either in Australia or Texas - I could never figure out which. Here she has a choice of men. The first is her childhood sweetheart Snake, who is broke and has an awesome secret. Another prospective husband is Deadward Forest a strange, pasty faced rich man who steals Smella’s heart. Murder and mayhem happen whenever Smella passes by but she is serene in the knowledge she’s the heroine and lives without fear. Because Smella knows the hero always rescues the heroine in the nick of time.

Romance Novel is hilarious. It takes a normal romantic story and accentuates all the bits that are not usually mentioned. Question: How could a virgin have a baby? Answer: Because she needed a baby for the plot.

Ms. Jones plays on these anomalies all the way through the book, and these provide a funny, well thought out book. Add to this the lack of sporty, rich vehicles, men with fabulous bodies, heroines with brains and you have an ideal romantic novel, or at least a parody of one.

By the time I finished reading my sides were aching with laughter. Well done Ms. Jones, you really made my day.

Waking Up With the Duke by Lorraine Heath

Waking Up With the Duke by Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon / HarperCollins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (271 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewd by Camellia

The Duke of Ainsley, known for his talents in the bedchamber, is stunned when his long-time friend, the Marquess of Walfort, asks him to get his wife with child. During a night of debauchery with Ainsley, Walfort was paralyzed in an accident. His wife, Jayne, has never forgiven Ainsley for his role in the debacle that robbed her husband of feeling from the waist down and robbed her of the opportunity to have a child.

Ainsley owes his friend--and more--his friend’s wife. After much reluctance, Jayne agrees to spend one month with Ainsley, in hopes of getting her with child, but she has terms: he is never to kiss her, she will take no pleasure from the act, and she will do nothing to bring him pleasure, other than what is necessary for him to fulfill his obligations.

But as the days and nights follow, she discovers a man with the ability to make her feel alive as she never did, a man who can make her dream again, make her feel young again. In his arms, she will come to realize a love far greater than any she has ever known.

An awakening of the senses to the many joys of life, along with the sexual and emotional ones, creates a sensual, happy experience that rises out of broken lives like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Jayne blooms with the companionship, generosity, and pampering that the Duke of Anisley lavishes on her (in spite of herself).

Jayne, marchioness of Walfort, knows her husband married her for her large dowry, but she cares for him and considers her marriage vows sacrosanct. She never dreamed the crippled Walfort would ask her to be with another man to conceive a child. More than that, he wants the man to be the Duke of Anisley, Walfort’s cousin and best friend. He's also the man Jayne blames for her husband being crippled.

Only after Walfort threatens to procure services of another man does Anisley agree to the arrangement, even though he fears he will destroy himself to give Jayne the child she longs for and Walfort an heir. Jayne agrees in order to appease her husband and tells herself Anisley will be doing his “duty” because he seeks redemption for the terrible wrong he did her husband.

Thus begins a month at Blackmoor Cottage that is a time of courting, loving, sharing. A time that a romance reader should not miss. WOW!

The secrets Anisley helps Walfort keep and his long-denied feelings for Jayne almost crush him at times, but he suffers it all to protect Jayne. While he is sure he has hidden his love for her well, his scandalous mother Tess and her lover Leo see it shining clear and true. These two add a sub-plot that makes the story even better. Theirs is an awesome love.

The secondary characters, which some readers may have met in another novel about the Seymours, are an interesting mix of those who are supportive, those who are gossipers, and others who are greedy and malicious. They all dim in the light of Anisley and Jayne who rise above all to gain a full appreciation of their precious love that is refined by the fires of pain, grief, deceit, gossip, and guilt.

Lorriane Heath does a masterful job of showing how Jayne wakes up with the Duke in so many ways. Ms. Heath’s beautiful distinction between the art of making love and the act of having sex is memorable. She also creates a hero that nurtures and enjoys the total person that the heroine is—he is a dream come true. The little twists and the foreshadowing she slips in keeps the reader turning pages. Totally enjoyable.

Cover Me by Catherine Mann

Cover Me by Catherine Mann
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (344 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating 4.5 books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

The 300 pararescue jumpers (PJs) in the world are the most elite force in the U.S. military, trained in high-risk rescue, and have never been featured in a romantic suspense series.

PJ Wade Rocha is fast roping from a helicopter into a blizzard to rescue stranded climbers when he meets beautiful Sunny Foster, who insists she can take care of herself just fine. As the snowstorm kicks into overdrive, she and Wade must take to the frozen wilderness in a race against time…and their own explosive passions.

Ever have one of those books you just couldn't put down, even when you had to go to sleep because you had work the next morning? Cover Me, by Catherine Mann, is one of those books. I couldn't put it down if I wanted to, and trust me, I didn't want to.

I've loved Catherine Mann's books since her Ops series. This book measures right up there with those. The writing flows and kept my attention. Heck, I wasn't even sure what time it was when I finally did close the book. The scenes are vivid and the characters unforgettable. I don't know a whole lot about paratroopers and pararescue techs but in the case of this book, it wasn't a huge deal. It was really like I was there on the Aleutian Islands, tromping through the snow with Brick and Sunny.

Let's talk about the characters. Sunny is more than a little hard-headed, but she's realistic. I liked that she wasn't about to take guff from Brick. Plus the chemistry is spot on. Who can honestly knock a guy who wants nothing more than to rescue you? Not me.

Then there's Brick. He's just as stubborn, but again, it's believable. I rooted for him because I wanted to see him melt a little. And I liked how they melted together. Phew.

There's a ton of plot twists and things I didn't see coming in this book. Bodies in the snow? Check. Scorching snuggle time between the hero and heroine for the sake of keeping warm? Check. A baddie that's all bad and it's so much fun? You guessed it. Check.

If you want a book that's got a little mystery, a little action, lots of snow, and lots of heat, then you need to snag a copy of Cover Me. It's a great read.