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Monday, April 30, 2012

Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul

Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (384 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

Natalie Jones is the lucky survivor of an elusive killer who preys on young women and then disappears from view. And since her harrowing ordeal, the once gutsy photojournalist has remained isolated in her home, paralyzed by fear and her failing vision. Special Agent Liam "Mac" McKenzie has scars of his own. But despite his efforts to ignore the attraction that simmers between him and Natalie, he needs her help to catch a predator. Soon, they will forge a tentative alliance—charged with desire. Through a soft-focus lens, Natalie dares to envision a future with Mac beyond the investigation…never guessing that the clues hidden within her photographs are drawing them into an explosive confrontation with a madman.

Murder. Deception. Intrigue. These words fit in so perfectly within the pages of Shades of Desire. There's so many aspects of this book that called to me.

Natalie Jones is the heroine of this story, and a character I completely related to. For one, she's losing her vision, and that changes her completely. There are days she's so withdrawn. She fights feelings of anger, fear, sometimes a bit of pity, but she's a strong woman learning to beat the odds of the cards life dealt her. Her passion involves photography. I can't imagine not being able to look through the lens and capture moments of life that will be still forever. I admire Natalie, and feel for her. Ms. DePaul certainly did a good job creating the angst and realism in Natalie. Writing a lead character without one of the major senses can be difficult. Kudos for really delving into the emotions and every day struggles for a woman facing the truth of her loss.

Liam McKenzie, otherwise known as Mac, is the hero. He meets Natalie after responding to a distress call from her house. His reaction to her surprises him, and he has even more admiration after the discovery of her declining vision. He's drawn to her, though he fights what he feels for various reasons. Mac seems to have some deep unresolved issues of his own, but they don't get much exploration in the book. He's tough, but he does his job well, and that includes keeping Natalie safe when a killer sets his sights on her.

The first couple of chapters were a bit slow, but once the pace picked up, it stayed steady and I couldn't put the story down. The flow of the story, the great writing, and the characters all blended together to create a whirlwind of a tale. The author sure knows the craft of suspense, keeping readers wanting more and more. Shades of Desire isn't just about the suspense, it's about the emotional journey of two people that must face their past in order to move forward in the future. You've got my attention, Ms. DePaul, and I am anxious to see what else you've got.

If you're a fan of suspense, Shades Of Desire comes highly recommended from this reader. Get your copy quick!

Friday, April 27, 2012

When Dreams Come True by Cathy Maxwell

When Dreams Come True by Cathy Maxwell
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (376 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Everyone knew the earl of Penhollow needed a wife, so one thunderous night the villagers gathered together to ask the ocean to deliver a bride to the bachelor lord . . .

When Pierce Kirrier rescues a mysterious beauty from the billowing ocean waves, he has no idea who she is or where she came from. But at first sight of this enchanting maiden, he knows he must claim her for his own. Taking her back to Penhollow Hall, he pampers her like a princess, determined to win her trust and her heart.

For Eden, awakening in an elegant bedchamber in a remote corner of Cornwall is like a perfect dream. In Pierce’s arms she has discovered true love, true joy, and a passion she never imagined could exist. Yet she knows in her heart that, once her secret past catches up with her, her dreams could be shattered . . . forever.

Magic, marvelous meddling, a Madame, a man (what a man!) along with storms and charms all manage to play a part in moving Eden toward her destiny and give the reader a romance to remember.

Beautiful Eden, nicknamed “The Siren”, accepts her life for what it is. Taken from the mean streets of London, reared in an upscale brothel, and educated better than most women of her time, she has just been sold to Sultan Ibn Sibah for a phenomenal price. While she accepts her fate, deep inside she fears what lies ahead.

When her only friend, Mary—the vicar’s wife, gives her a special medallion and says, “May you have the courage to free yourself”, Eden struggles to reconcile what she feels she owes Madame Indrani and what she wants from life.

A storm and Eden’s courage to act changes the course of her life. When her strength fails, Lord Pierce is in the right place at the right time to save her from crashing against the rocks along Cornwall’s coast. Thus begins the fulfillment of a wish the Widow Haskell and the people of Penhollow Hall had made for the Earl of Penhollow, Pierce Kirrier.

Lord Pierce, shepherded to adulthood by the people of Penhollow, rebuilt the family fortune his deceased father had wasted. He knows he must marry but has not come to terms with his selfish mother’s demands. She, daughter of a rich tradesman and wife of a nobleman, strives to belong and intends that Pierce marry a biddable girl of noble blood. When he brings home the unconscious Eden, Lady Penhollow sees her beauty and sees the way Pierce looks at her--action must be taken.

Conflicts abound making When Dreams Come True captivating. However, the most compelling element is the remarkable connection between Eden and Pierce. Trying to protect him, Eden cannot bring herself to confide in him, yet she loves him with all her heart and soul. Pierce does not understand what she's about and sends men to try to find out who she really is, but he wants her regardless of her true identity.

The secondary characters meddle freely in Eden’s and Pierce’s lives. Both friends and adversaries do all kinds of manipulations in their efforts to influence. Betsy, Mrs. Meeks, Widow Haskell, and others who helped raise Pierce may not be high in Society, but they do wield power that's amazing. They also create joy, humor, and show loyalty and true friendship that give the story buoyancy. Many of the characters who need to stay in Lord Pierce’s good graces perceive Eden as a threat and plot with malice against her not knowing anything about the horrible threat Madame Indrani and the Sultan’s men are to her.

The climax with the sacrifice Lord Pierce is willing to pay to protect Eden and the resolution that comes from such an awesome source (truly, poetic justice) caps off this exciting, passionate, and magical romance. When Dreams Come True is hard to put down.

Cathy Maxwell’s smooth flowing writing style, her exquisite descriptions, and the sensual, shimmering love she immerses the hero and heroine in is breathtakingly beautiful. Totally satisfying!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Walking In Fire by Cathryn Cade

Walking In Fire by Cathryn Cade
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (249 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

Born to defend his people, he will sacrifice everything—for her.

Hawaiian Heroes, Book 1

Nawea Bay, a remote Hawaiian paradise, is just the haven Melia Carson needs to escape the chill of heartache. Instead, she finds herself swept up in a tropical heat wave, fueled by her unexpected attraction to a handsome native she meets on a snorkel tour.

He’s big, powerful, hot enough to melt her defenses—and he’s not all he seems. How else could he survive an injury that should have killed him…and why does she dream of him garbed in ancient native dress and wreathed in flames?

David “Malu” Ho’omalu is on the Big Island to find and destroy a cache of dangerous designer drugs before they can be sold to his people. Fending off amorous female tourists is part of the job, but one look in Melia’s blue eyes, and his instincts scream that she is his.

As Melia surrenders to the desire burning between them, she discovers more than a fiery heritage that defies modern logic. She discovers a man who would descend into the molten heart of the volcano to protect his island. And her…if she can find the strength to trust her heart to him.

If you've never been to Hawaii before, you will be able to envision it in your mind just by reading Walking in Fire. Set on the beautiful islands, this book is an attention grabber with its blend of description, sexy and fun dialogue, and characters who come to life. It's an adventure waiting!

Melia is visiting and what a wild ride she's in for. She's a successful chef and blogger in need of a little downtime. What she gets, however, will change her life. Melia's character is a great one, she's witty, smart, and not afraid to stand up to anyone.

The hero is to die for! David, better known as Malu, has that sexy, mysterious feel to him. His appeal is hot and I fell for his charms quickly, although when he's introduced, I didn't get that feeling right away. As Melia spends more time with him, staying under his protective power, that's when I learned more about this intriguing man. The way he treats Melia like a queen, and showing his true persona to her was wonderful. Readers, I have a suspicion that you'd like him, and some of you may want a Malu for your very own.

The great pacing kept me entertained and I loved some of the dialogue Malu uses. It gave a total feel of being on the island and how some of the people there spoke. I've always wanted to visit this enchanted place, and the way that Ms. Cade creates the atmosphere and the vivid imagery in my mind gave me a bigger sense of longing to one day go there. The other characters had a great appeal in the story, too. This story held me captive from first to last.

If you like a clever contemporary story with a little bit of paranormal entwined, Walking in Fire is a fine place to start. Won't you take a chance and get yourself a copy? You may come away from this novel in a dreamy daze, searching for a little magic and adventure of your own.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moonlight Becomes You by Karen Wiesner

Moonlight Becomes You by Karen Wiesner
part of TALES FROM THE TREASURE TROVE Volume VII by Jewels Of The Quill
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (62 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Very loosely based on “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”. When her child becomes deathly ill and none of the doctors and specialists can help him, Heather Rowe rushes to Woodcutter's Grim, hoping the boy's father can explain what's happening. But Lance Shaussegeny both intrigues and terrifies Heather as much as what he's told her of his hometown does. She soon learns that nothing in Woodcutter's Grim—including Lance—is what it seems.

Will Heather ever accept the darkness in herself?

To say that Heather and Lance’s connection is intense would be a massive understatement. Ms. Wiesner did an excellent job of showing just how potent their feelings are for each other. The attraction Ms. Wiesner created between these characters transcends anything physical or emotional. It's rooted in the very core of their beings. They can sense each other and even hear each other's thoughts. I could practically feel the heat between Heather and Lance when they were near each other and the despair they experienced when they were apart. Even though they both know they are meant to be together, Heather manages to resist Lance for an entire year. I completely understand her reasons for staying away. As much as she loves Lance, she's also afraid of him and the darkness that lives in him. However, even though she tries to ignore it, that same darkness lives in Heather, but does she have the strength to accept it?

I admire Heather so much. Not only is she a woman struggling to understand the changes that came over her after making love to Lance, but she's also a new mother with a very sick child. My heart ached as she held her son and tried to understand what was wrong with him. She's terrified of going to Woodcutter’s Grim, but Heather is willing to face her own fears if it means saving her son. I became so wrapped up in Heather and her son’s struggle that I turned each page hoping they would find some peace.

I do have to say that I found Lance and his family a little creepy. While they welcomed Heather and her son with open arms, I also got a bit of a cultish vibe off them. As Heather struggled to understand what was going on, Lance and his family simply kept telling her to “accept it.” I know they meant well, but I found the whole situation a bit frustrating. I kept hoping Lance or someone in his family would sit down with Heather and have an open, honest discussion with her. On the other hand, I have to wonder if Heather, who's very stubborn, would have listened to what they had to say. In spite of this small issue, it's clear the love Lance and his family show Heather and her son is genuine and unconditional.

I enjoyed reading Moonlight Becomes You. Woodcutter’s Grim is certainly scary, but also is an intriguing place filled with interesting characters. I recommend it to anyone looking for a frightening fairytale.

Switched In Death by Sherry Foley

Switched In Death by Sherry Foley
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (321 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

Detective Seth Banning searches for one of the most heinous serial killers of all time. Seth is desperate to find the sadistic murderer who takes his female victims two at a time, and switches their heads. Elaina von Hagan is on the run from the drug trafficking father she has exposed. As she and Seth begin a relationship, she becomes a target for the serial killer's deranged ritual. The stakes have never been higher for Seth as Elaina is taken, and the stage is set for a gruesome showdown between good and evil.

Secret pasts, serial killers, and a blossoming relationship share center stage in this spine tingling suspense book. Readers, beware. This book may have you up all night, checking your doors and jumping at the slightest sound!

The hero is Seth. He's a cop, working a case that follows the killings of a possible serial killer. He seems to have his share of heartache and a past that he can't escape. He makes for a great leading male role. I was drawn to him, and respected his character.

We're introduced to the hero, Laney. She's also got a shady past, like she's running from something. She's smart, stubborn and sweet. The attraction between Laney and Seth sizzle from first contact, and I loved following along as their romance unfolded. So many things stood in this couple's way....

The suspense is intense! Readers get a glimpse into the killer's point of view, and wow, what a sick and twisted mindset this author created for the villain. As I read on, more and more clues were given, but the ending and revealing I never would have guessed in a million years! This book is filled with top notch intrigue. As usual with my reading, I read it late at night and yes, I was jumpy at sounds. My pulse quickened a few times with some scenes and I was left with a satisfied feeling after the last page was read. Ms. Foley sure knows the craft of writing a romantic suspense, and I'm interested to read what else this author has to offer. The story is well written, although there are a few spots with editing errors, such as a name put in there that wasn't the character's name in the scene. Other than that, I enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down!

If you like serial killer romantic suspense, love a good thrill, then Switched in Death is waiting for you. Try it, if you dare, and allow yourself to be sucked into this thrill ride of a novel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Feuding Hearts by Natasha Deen

Feuding Hearts by Natasha Deen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (55 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Water Lily

Angel Baxter's move from Georgia to Miami was intended to bring peace and calm, but for the past three months, she's been reluctant mediator to her nana and their eighty-five year-old neighbor. Between ripped up azalea bushes, wrecked bird baths, and her grandmother prancing across the lawn like a deranged pixie, Angel's nerves are frayed. She's got more problems than a three-legged cat in a dog pound.

Unexpected help shows up in the sexiest form: Harry Garret, the neighbor's gorgeous grandson. The gardener offers his hand in the negotiations, and the rest of his body on a date at a French restaurant. When Nana's pranks go too far, will Angel lose out on more than peace and quiet, but also on a chance at love?

Feuding Hearts is a fun, frolicsome way to spend an hour or two.

I’m not sure which couple I liked best, the cranky yet charming octogenarians or their sexually-charged, intensely-loyal adult grand-kids. All I know is that I loved following Angel’s emotional roller coaster. Bless her heart, she has her hands full but she won me over with her wit and kindness. Her silly antics were fresh and fun to read.

The super scrumptious Harry wasn't hard to read about either. Ms. Deen knows how to create a hero who raises the heat level in a room just by walking in. Harry is completely likeable because he doesn't act like he knows he's hot. The author also has the charm of Southern speak down to an art. I had no problem stepping into the scene and getting to know these people.

Ms. Deen even manages to add social conscience, ethical vs unethical business practices and the green movement into the mix. With the added plus of well-defined characters, great descriptions, and flawless writing, this short will have you logging on to see what else Ms. Deen has written. There are eight more by my count. Guess I’m going shopping. If it's a romantic comedy that you've been craving, Feuding Hearts is an easy recommend.

Betrayal by Lucy-Anne Smith

Betrayal by Lucy-Anne Smith
Publisher: Xynobooks, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (160 pages)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fennel

Life in the English suburbs has always been boring and loveless for Bethenny Anne Dempsey. When her sister Samantha returns from America with tall, tanned new boyfriend Russell in tow, Beth's life no longer seems so dull.

The Californian stirs forbidden desires within her. Desires that would surely destroy her family. Desires upon which she and Russell must not act.

Fleeing to a Swiss ski resort, Beth tries desperately to purge her heart, body and mind of Russell. While there, she throws herself headlong into a rebound romance whose final destination, Beth hopes, will be the altar.

But, Beth and Russell's desperate yearning for one another ignites a firestorm of deceit that threatens to consume their entire world.

Will Beth be left being the one who commits the worst betrayal of all?

Ms Smith takes the title of this book, shakes it vigorously and then settles down to offer a tale of betrayal that seems obvious and turns out to be anything but as the betrayal comes from almost every direction and on many levels.

The author presents characters who engage the reader and you either love them or hate them, just as she wants us to. Stories written in the first person are not normally my favorite point of view, but Ms. Smith’s cast of characters moves the pace forward with a speed that sometimes takes your breath away as does the emotional switchback her characters experience

The list of characters is long and handled skilfully by the author, while some of their actions and reactions did not always come across as realistic they worked well within the story plot.

Ms. Smith has a wonderful capacity for description and she had me falling in love with Russell within minutes of describing him. Her writing style is economical and yet full of life and energy.

Bethany, caught and held my sympathy as she struggled with the unfolding dilemma she faces. There's a saying, ‘you don’t always like the people you love’ and this becomes so true in this story.

For me ‘engaging’ describes Betrayal.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Christmas at Hartford Hall by Fenella J Miller

Christmas at Hartford Hall by Fenella J Miller
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Historical, Holiday
Heat: Sensual
Length: Short Story (73 pgs)
Rated: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

A Regency Cinderella story complete with handsome ‘Prince Charming’, two nasty sisters and a wicked female relative.

When Elizabeth’s grandfather died there was no sign of a will and she, to her consternation, discovered she was now dependent on his heir. The new Lord and Lady Hartford and their twin daughters arrive and reduce her status to that of a servant. Elizabeth is determined to leave Hartford Hall in the New Year and work as a governess. However the arrival of Sir James Worthington to make an offer for Lady Eleanor only adds to her difficulties…

Elizabeth Baverstock meets dashing young James Worthington in the midst of a snowy lane, in a way that scarcely bodes well for their future acquaintance.

Elizabeth – of Hartford Hall – is hardly treated as befits her station, but determinedly carries on, making the best of things and planning a future. James, Sir James in fact, does not figure into that future at all. Though of course we suspect something might develop between them, their awkward early conversations certainly make us doubt it.

Readers will love the unabashed toughness of Elizabeth; whatever happens, she makes the best of it. Her young man, we are more ambivalent about – one moment charmer, the next, cad. Who is he really? He seems like he could be the one…and certainly at times we see him as the ‘steady gentleman.’ Yet, he himself seems to reject that appearance.

Other characters are equally well developed, and I was especially drawn to the very believable (and gossipy) servants. All are clearly on Elizabeth’s side! The class folks – and the twins, are a different story. This story, and Elizabeth’s plight, make us want a handy, all-rotten character to blame! And there is one, but she's not entirely responsible for all the bad events. Amelia is so nasty, you spend a good deal of time hoping she’ll be the one run over in a lane.

Throughout, and on a number of small points, there is splendid attention to detail – like noting that James drives a high-perch phaeton. Later his valet comments on him handling the reins, using the old fashioned term, ‘ribbons.’ The backdrop of snow and cold remains consistent, and so nice and timely, too. Details are subtly included and only add to the aura. Such points allow us to see this clearly as a mid-nineteenth century England, without ever having to out and out say so. I was quite prepared to like this story from its wonderful start and am pleased to share that I simply loved it.

Christmas at Hartford Hall earns one of its five stars.  You won’t want to wait for Christmas to read this one.

Million Dollar Bra by Jennifer Loy

Million Dollar Bra by Jennifer Loy
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (205 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fennel

Who the hell can afford the four million dollar bra that comes out of the Victoria’s Secret catalog holiday issue every year? Devin Warner, Brittany’s boss could and he did. But why? She gets kidnapped before she finds out.

Ryan Blake, the world’s worst kidnapper has just discovered his mistake could very well work out for him, but can he convince the beautiful Brittany to take off this elegant jeweled bra? No way! They will steal it back and forth and enjoy every minute of it. An unruly adventure that criss-crosses across the country with more wild twists and turns than a rollercoaster ride.

Feeling down? Things piling on top of you? Life throwing its favorite curve-balls at you? Don’t worry, you're not alone. Jennifer Loy has made sure of that. If you're not commiserating with her feckless cast of characters for whom nothing goes right you're probably crying with laughter when you read this book.

So you see, not only does Ms Loy give you company while you're enjoying your pity-party, she makes you laugh so much you forget all about it. Her writing is fluent and yet at times edgy which complements the scrapes every one of her characters get into. Yes, she has a hero and heroine, but all the other characters vie for your attention with equal tenacity.

Ryan Blake and Brittany Van Horn pitch from one disaster to another with gusto and determination that convinced this reader that such a hapless couple can hardly better ‘the bad’ guys. Not only do they achieve resounding success but the end of the story reveals some astonishing alliances.

Ms. Loy mixes her romance with generous servings of quirky humor, mystery and intrigue. If you are in need of a laugh then this is just the read to go for. It’s not a book I’ll forget in a hurry.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kane and Mabel by Sharon deVita

Kane and Mabel by Sharon deVita
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (128 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 2.5 stars
Reviewed by Fennel

When a new business partner appears in Kati’s diner, it’s not just the broccoli that’s steamed.

Kati Rose Ryan lives in the small town of Libertyville, Missouri, taking care of the diner her irresponsible brother left her to run. When a “friend” of her brother shows up at the diner, Kati is immediately suspicious. Her brother Patrick’s friends are nothing but thieves and freeloaders and she’s had her fill of them.

She fully intends to throw no-good Lucas Kane out on his ear. Until Lucas tells her that her brother lost his half of the diner to him in a poker game, and Lucas is her new partner.

Furious that her brother could be so reckless and irresponsible to gamble his half of the diner away, Kati does everything in her power to get rid of Lucas. But, Lucas isn’t budging. In fact, he intends to stay in Libertyville until he can prove to Kati that he doesn’t just want to be her partner in the diner, but in life, as well.

Kane and Mabel – the play on words in the title snagged my attention at once and I was eager to discover how the author would work the twist.

The plot is not a new one, still I was convinced Ms. deVita would come up with something as catchy and original as the treatment she gave the title.

While the writing is smooth and the descriptions vivid, the characterization was a little disappointing. To begin with as the plot unfolded I could empathize with Mable’s stubbornness to accept help. After all once bitten twice shy and her wastrel of a brother’s friends had done nothing so far to endear Mable to them. But from the get-go Kane showed his worth and his commitment so that in time Mabel’s constant bickering and sniping stubbornness became an irritation.

When Kane goes hunting for the man who swindled him he finds the sister instead. Against all reason, instead of demanding retribution, Kane goes out of his way to rescue Mabel, and believe me, I fell big-time for Kane. He is one amazing hero.

Ms. deVita’s secondary characters had their own private war going on. The author goes to town with them. They are cantankerous feuding ‘wrinklies’ who are either ripping each other up or ganging up on anyone else who criticizes the other.

I enjoyed their feuding as it made for a light relief between them and the parallel angst going on between Kane and Mabel. I’m glad I read this story.

Ever Together by Margie L. Miller

Ever Together by Margie L. Miller
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (234 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Sunflower

Convenience store clerk, Katy Simms has got to be the only woman in North America who hasn't heard of megastar Derrick Nelson, which makes her boarding house the perfect place for him to recover from a nervous breakdown. When he stumbles into her life one summer night, all Katy sees is a unemployed drifter named Caleb who needs a couple of decent meals and some human compassion. Her presence calms his soul, while his patience lifts her confidence.

Together, they are more, but will Caleb's fame and Katy's generous nature drive a wedge between two people who were meant to be...ever together?

Do you believe opposites attract? Do you think that two people from very different worlds can backgrounds can make it together? If you're not a believer, reading Ever Together just might make you think differently. This is a story of a powerful love.

Katy is young and sometimes a little naive. She's the kindest woman you'll ever meet. She's always willing to help, and she has a way about her that people tend to want to be near her. She struggles with things that for others come easy, but Katy is a determined woman, and she strives to reach her goals. I was immediately drawn to her character. At times, she overreacts, but when she's wrong, Katy admits it, after awhile.

Caleb is a celebrity who just needs a little peace and quiet. Never in a million years did he imagine he'd be drawn to this small town, let alone the owner of the house he's staying it. I love Caleb. He's apparently a mega star, but his celebrity persona and his regular life persona are the same guy. There's no in between. Caleb is a down to earth man who has deep family roots. He's not one of those attention hogs, and he genuinely loves what he does. Even though he's famous, Caleb still loves the regular life. The tension that builds between him and Katy develops into a blossoming romance.

Caleb helps Katy, and in return she helps him, but neither of them really know that right away. They make each other a better person, they are two halves that make a whole. Caleb is patient with Katy and some of her self doubts and quirks, and Katy makes Caleb long for more than just his acting career. The cast of characters bring so much to this story as well. It's like a tight knit family, everyone looks out for the other, and they accept Caleb as one of their own.

Everything about this story calls to me -- the characters, the writing, the wonderful plot. It's heartwarming, emotional, and beautiful. I'd love to see more stories like this out on the market. Ever Together gives me hope, a new perspective, and I could read this novel over and over again, and fall in love with the story like it was the first time.

If you love a good contemporary romance about people from opposite worlds, love a hero that's sexy and mysterious, and want to feel like a community still bonds together over a good life, don't miss Ever Together. Grab yourself a copy today and be enchanted by this story.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unspoken Promises by Becca Dale

Unspoken Promises by Becca Dale
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Western romance
Length: Short Story (18 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Lavender

Billie Jensen hates liars and cheats. She’s spent her entire life watching her mother forgive the unforgivable with just a few words from a smooth-talking man. So different from her father, Officer Treynor Pandoah seems like everything Bille has ever wanted—quiet, solid, and truthful—until he snuggles up to another woman on Valentine’s Day. He says her eyes lied, but how can she trust a man who won’t share what’s in his heart?

Treynor’s done waiting for Billie to forgive him for something he didn’t do. A man shouldn’t have to explain himself to the woman he loves, but if he can’t find the words to take the tears from her eyes, he could lose her to Unspoken Promises.

A cop in a small town, Treynor Pandoah, lost his girlfriend to an unfortunate misunderstanding. What he doesn't need is a local ghost mocking him as he watches his ex-girlfriend from a distance. What’s a guy to do? She’s furious with him. He sees her and dares to approach her after almost two months, even though she thinks he’s a liar. That was not a pretty fight.

When she refuses to talk to him, he takes things into his own hands, in an alpha male way. She’d seen him kiss another woman but he says there’s more to it. Could he possibly prove this? Was there hope for a happy ending? I couldn't help but wonder how he would get through to his love.

For a short story, the character development is nicely done. The secondary characters are a good support team for the main characters. Conflicting emotions battle each other and are done well, bringing the tale to life. Tension is created when Treynor takes his time clarifying the misunderstanding to Billie. He keeps stalling. It was a tad annoying but not overly so.

This is a romantic, enjoyable story, that held my attention to see what really happened. Billie saw Treynor nuzzle a woman’s neck. In my opinion, his explanation lacked details. The word “nuzzle” seems to imply something suspicious, something more than what was in Treynor’s explanation to Billie.

Still, Unspoken Promises is a good short story with a Western bent to it, a quick read with an interesting plot. Those who like Western romances or just romances in general will like this story.