Book Review: Bea Reviews – Until There Was You by Jessica Scott
Book Blurb: He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life. Read more
Book Review: Beneath A Rising Moon (Ripple Creek Werewolf #1) by Keri Arthur
by Bea’s Book Nook-
Book copy: Keri Arthur, the New York Times bestselling author of the Riley Jenson Guardian series, takes readers to the werewolf reservation of Ripple Creek—where moon fever runs high and a savage murderer runs rampant.
There’s no turning back for Neva Grant. To find a killer, she must seduce the boldest male in the Sinclair pack. Her twin sister lies in a hospital bed, fighting for her life, the fourth and only surviving victim of a vicious attacker. The werewolf rangers suspect the Sinclair pack, and the only way Neva can infiltrate their close-knit ranks is to unleash the wildness within and offer herself to Duncan Sinclair.
Duncan’s appetite for women is legendary on the reservation. But when this new woman stirs his hunger, he finds his desire for her goes deeper than anything he’s ever felt before. When he realizes that she’s playing a game and he’s taken the bait, he is determined to push her to the breaking point. As Duncan and Neva engage in a dangerous dance, they must somehow find a way to join forces—before a cornered killer bites back. Read more
Book Review – Nightingale Way by Emily March
Review of – Nightingale Way……by Emily March
This novel is our latest visit to enchanting Eternity Springs, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The story centers around Jack Davenport, Black Ops mystery man, and wealthy owner of Eagle’s Way. The mansion sits atop a mountain, is visited by few, and is Jack’s very private retreat.
Catherine Blackburn Davenport known as Cat, is a journalist that seems to find dangerous breaking stories. She just reported on a dog fighting conspiracy, that involves celebrities, and politicians alike. A fire bombing at her home demonstrates how much her life is in danger. Jack and Cat share a heartbreaking secret that tore their life and marriage apart. Now Cat needs protection. Jack will put his anger and heartbreak aside, and risk his life to keep her safe. Read more
Review from HEA USA Today: The Shadow Keepers!
The Shadow Keepers series is a hot, alluring fantasy ride through all types of paranormal species and love interests, spiced with a bit violence (sometimes a whole dash!). This makes J.K. Beck’s series a great world for readers to fall into.
JK Beck writes of a world with justice for the paranormal society that sometimes spills into our own mundane human world. She writes of a world with lawyers, vampires, weres, strangers, killers and criminals, also of attraction and lust … a lot of lust. This review is a brief view of her Shadow Keepers books and the couples who dance through their pages. Read more
HEA USA Today’s Joyce Lamb interviews R@R’s Molly O’Keefe!
Molly O’Keefe digs arguing as foreplay. Judging by how many romance heroes and heroines don’t get along when they first meet, I’m pretty sure lots of romance readers are on board with that. Molly joins us to talk about her new release, Can’t Buy Me Love; why she thinks her heroine has struck a nerve with some readers; why she stalks Tina Fey online; and how she thought about how to bust Friday Night Lights’ Riggins out of jail.
Joyce: Welcome to HEA, Molly! What makes the chemistry sizzle so much between heroine Tara and hero Luc in Can’t Buy Me Love?
Molly: I really liked the idea of two people who have created personas that they use to keep people from getting too close. Both have these shells to protect their vulnerabilities and insecurities. But because Luc and Tara are forced to spend time together they see beneath the charade and come to really respect each other. Read more
Joyce Lamb reviews Nora Roberts, THE WITNESS
Genre: Romantic suspense
I don’t have much time to read these days, but I do have time to listen to audio books in the car. Recently, I took a long road trip from Washington, D.C., to Chicago and had lots of time to listen. So I chose Nora Roberts’ 200th published novel, The Witness. (I say 200th published novel, because you just know she’s written at least 40 after The Witness that haven’t been published yet.) Read more
Book Review – Janet Webb encourages readers to try, Gentleman Undone, by Cecilia Grant
Reader & reviewer Janet Webb reviews one of the most up and coming authors in the historical romance genre, find out what she has to say – enjoy!
A Gentleman Undone by Cecilia Grant
From the back cover:
“Lydia Slaughter understands the games men play—both in and out of the bedroom. Not afraid to bend the rules to suit her needs, she fleeces Will Blackshear outright. The Waterloo hero had his own daring agenda for the gaming tables of London’s gentlemen’s clubs. But now he antes up for a wager of wits and desire with Lydia, the streetwise temptress who keeps him at arm’s length. Read more
What to read after THE PROPOSAL? Janet has a great Balogh list.
Thank you Janet Webb for the book list of what to read after THE PROPOSAL – a book long-awaited for by many a Balogh fan, enjoy!
Along with everyone else, I’ve been waiting forever for Gwen’s story. I read it, loved it and immediately wanted to re-read every previous book in the Slightly and Simply catalogue. That’s all well and good but there are a LOT of books before The Proposal. Here’s my helpful annotated list of which books you might enjoy after you meet and fall in love with Gwendoline and her forthright hero Hugo. Be warned: spoilers lie ahead! Read more
Book Review: Marlene gives you her take on Born To Darkness
Thanks Marlene! You can visit her on Reading Reality where she talks about romance and, well – everything!
I grabbed Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann because so many people have recommended her, but her Troubleshooters series is already on book 17, and if I liked it, well, the so many books, so little time problem reared its ugly head and spat at me.
Born to Darkness is the first book in Brockmann’s Fighting Destiny series. and the readers who recommended her books were right. Born to Darkness is terrific romantic suspense. For this reader, Darkness has some added appeal, because this new series has a futuristic paranormal feel to it.
Born to Darkness takes place in Boston, in a near future at around the same time as J.D. Robb’s In Death series. Except this is a different future.
Instead of cops and robbers, the Fighting Destiny series centers around the Obermeyer Institute, a school for people with higher than normal brain-integration. In other words, people who can use more than 10% of their mental capacity at one time. Think of it as a different variation on the X-Men.
Except that a lot of the potential X-Men are X-Women, because of hormones, or they would be. The problem is that there’s a really nifty drug that can be made from the blood of these pre-pubescent “potentials”. That drug is called “Destiny” and it’s a humdinger. The Fountain of Youth in trade for instant addiction. Eventually it drives them super-crazy-powerful insane, when they “joker”. Yes, Batman’s Joker. It’s like that. Then they die.
The men and women of the Obermeyer Institute (the good guys) fight the Organization that manufactures Destiny.
Born to Darkness introduces readers to those fighters, and the powers they use to fight Destiny, as they come together to rescue one young girl from the clutches of the Organization.
The romance in this romantic suspense, and is there ever a romance, is between Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie and Shane Laughlin.
Mac is a high-ranking member of the Obermeyer Institute. She’s an empath. She also has a nifty trick, she uses sex to heal herself. After a terrible incident with a joker, Mac goes out trolling bars, and picks up Shane.
It’s his last night before he reports to the Obermeyer Institute as a “potential”. And he really needs what he considers a job. Shane was blacklisted from the Navy SEALS for doing the right thing at the wrong time. He took the blame to save the careers of the men in his unit. But blacklisting means he can’t get any job anywhere. He’s broke.
Their intended one-night stand heals Mac’s broken ankle–and blows every circuit and light bulb in her building. Whatever potential power Shane has, besides the great sex he and Mac share, it’s not anything the Obermeyer Institute has ever seen before.
The only problem is, potentials are supposed to be off-limits, and Mac didn’t know Shane was a potential until after the lights blew. Walking away is what she’s supposed to do.
But she can’t, and neither can he.
Mac doesn’t believe any man could ever love her for herself, because part of her power is to make men love her. Only as long as they are in her presence. She sure love can’t be real. Ever.
Shane can only be genuine. He doesn’t know any other way to be. The sex may be earth-shattering, sometimes literally, but what he feels is real. Convincing Mac is harder than any mission he’s ever been on.
And no matter how much Mac wants to push Shane away, she can’t afford to. There is a little girl’s life on the line. And the Institute has figured out why all those lights blew. Shane amps Mac’s power. Real emotion amps power. And Mac needs that boost to find the girl. Before the Organization kills her.
If she loses Shane afterwards, Mac can survive the blow. Somehow.
Escape Rating A: This story is absolutely awesome. This was one I couldn’t put down. The paranormal elements are light, this is pretty much a romantic suspense story, but that’s just fine. It’s excellent.
The setup of the Institute for future stories is good. Although a secondary love story was also resolved within Born to Darkness, you can see who will be featured in at least one of the next books. I hope it’s soon, it’s a story that begs for an HEA.
If you decide to read Born to Darkness, it’s worth reading Shane’s Last Stand first. This is the prequel short story that explains how Shane winds up getting blacklisted. I highly recommend both Shane’s Last Stand and Born to Darkness. Be sure you don’t have to get up early the next morning.
Did this review help you? Have you read BTD yet? Comment below – we’d love to here from you & Marlene would love to hear from you too – Enjoy!
Guest Review from Danielle James – Sacrificial Magic
Guest Review from Danielle James – Sacrificial Magic – a suspenseful paranormal romance story that will have you coming back for more.
When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks. As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice
Let me give you the tells: Stacia Kane writes a story you won’t soon forget. I don’t know what it is about Downside that pulls me right into it, but there is something magical about those streets. The characters aren’t good people. Chess is a drug addict and works for the Church of Real Truth as a debunker-someone who tries to disprove a haunting. Her love interest Terrible works for drug dealer and isn’t someone you would want to meet in a dark alley. Lex, the other love interest for Chess is equally as bad. His father is the drug dealer on the other side of town, but despite that he is just as likable as Terrible is. I don’t know what is about these characters that have made them worm their way into my heart the way they have, but they have become members of my book family.
The mystery in this book is one that kept me guessing until the very end. For the life of me, I could not figure out who was behind everything even when it was staring me in the face. I love it when there are so many curveballs thrown in my direction that I don’t figure out what is happening until the character does, and them am caught completely off guard. This book is dark, gritty and what makes this series is great is that there isn’t one light and fluffy character in it. Everyone has their own issues to deal with, and they intertwine with the mystery being told. There is a lot of magic in this book, and I enjoyed watching Chess struggling with what was going on in her private life and how she attempted to desperate it from her work, but was unable to a lot of the time. In this book we get to know a little more about Chess’s background and what made her the way she is and I liked how we got to see a little bit more of the Church personnel involved in the story line.
Sacrificial Magic can be read as a stand alone, but I don’t recommend it. This series is one you want to take a chance on to go outside of your comfort zone. You won’t be disappointed.
Danielle James – blogger, Tweeter & a really sweet gal
Did this review help you? Comment below — we’d love to hear if this book is one you’d enjoy. If you’re interested in buying – make your purchase here, on sale 3/27/2012 – Enjoy!
About Stacia Kane:
Stacia Kane has been a phone psychic, a customer service representative, a bartender, and a movie theater usher, and she thinks that writing is more fun than all of them combined. She wears a lot of black, still makes great cocktails, likes to play music loud in the car, and thinks Die Hard is one of the greatest movies ever made. She believes in dragons and the divine right of kings, and is a fervent Ricardian. She lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their two little girls.
Visit Stacia on FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/stacia.kane
On her website – http://staciakane.com/
or on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/StaciaKane
Guest Review – REDWOOD BEND by Robyn Carr + Giveaway!
REDWOOD BEND reviewed By Kathy Altman, USA TODAY
Genre: Contemporary romance
No longer content to live so far away from the only family she and her 5-year-old twins have, Army widow Katie Malone packs up her boys and heads to Virgin River, Calif., for the summer. She hopes to find somewhere nearby to settle — somewhere kid-friendly but not too close to her overprotective brother. After months of hiding out on one side of the country while her brother laid low on the other, waiting for his chance to testify against a murderer with mob connections — a chance that never arrived because the mobster was killed the morning of the trial — Katie and her boys desperately need some safety and stability in their lives.
Which means the very last man she should want to become involved with is the former teen actor whose adolescent antics put every other bad-boy celebrity to shame. Especially when the grown-up version is still dangerously charismatic — and decidedly anti-commitment.
Dylan Childress gave up the Hollywood lifestyle long ago — or, rather, his grandmother yanked him out of it after his best friend died of a drug overdose. Eventually, Dylan found his true passion and majored in aviation in college, then started up a charter pilot service.
But business in Payne, Mont., isn’t good, and while he and his partners are on a cross-country motorcycle tour, he decides to check out local airports for ideas on how to save his company. Then he meets the sassy and irrepressible Katie, who’s more impressed with his motorcycle than she is with him, and Dylan can’t help but wish he didn’t come from such a spoiled, irresponsible, commitment-phobic family. Because if ever he’d consider making a forever kind of promise, it would be to Katie and her boys.
But his genes guarantee that the only “long term” he’s capable of is the kind you find in an airport parking lot.
Redwood Bend was a joy to read! Every interaction between Katie and Dylan crackles with tongue-in-cheek humor and sexual tension, and Katie’s twins offer their own authentic and heart-stealing moments of frustration and fun. And, of course, adding a delicious under-layer of angst is the seemingly insurmountable conflicts keeping Katie and Dylan apart — he’s not a forever kind of guy, and even if he were, his life and his livelihood are three states away. Not to mention the fact that Katie’s a package deal.
All Katie wants is to matter to someone. And all Dylan wants, though it takes him longer to admit it, is a family of his own. But Katie refuses to let Dylan use his relations’ problems with monogamy as an excuse to break her heart. In fact, she doesn’t let him get away with much of anything. At the same time, he’s opening up a whole new world for her — and seducing her, despite her reservations, as he haltingly connects with her boys. I really enjoyed her voice — she can be nosy and a bit of a nag, but her frankness makes for some delightful banter. Let me share some examples.
This snippet occurs after Dylan and Katie first meet. He and the “motorcycle gang” he’s touring with stop to help her change a flat tire:
“You have a couple of stowaways,” he said, glancing into the car.
She peeked into the SUV. A couple of sets of identical brown eyes peered over the backseat. “My boys,” she said.
“You don’t look old enough to have boys.”
“I’m at least fifty now,” she said. “Ever been on a road trip with five-year-old twins?”
LOL. This next snippet is from my favorite scene, when even though he’s resolved to avoid temptation, Dylan can’t help searching out Katie. He’s just gotten off his motorcycle after driving up to her cabin:
She gave herself a lot of credit for not sharply inhaling at the shock of his good looks. He swaggered toward her, peeling off his gloves. He had that swagger thing down; it was probably due to the constriction of the tight jeans around his hips.
And a few pages later:
I just Frenched a movie star.
Can you see why I smiled most of the way through this book? Well, except for the part with the disgruntled bear.
Appealing characters and a fresh and heart-tugging twist to a familiar conflict, coupled with what-did-she-just-say? dialogue and a cozy sense of community, all help make this latest installment in the Virgin River series a true romantic getaway.
Kathy Altman is a soon-to-be-published author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Washington Romance Writers (WRW) and is also active in the online Harlequin community. Her website is KathyAltman.com.
Sue’s Comments: check out all the reviews on Goodreads –
I thoroughly enjoy the Virgin River series & every gosh darn moment I can spend there . . . I want to move there & open a book store, “VIRGIN BOOKS”.
REDWOOD BEND was everything I had hoped it would be and after having not read the last couple of books in the series reading REDWOOD BEND only made me voracious for more VR!! Carr just keeps on getting better & better!!
QUESTION – if you were going to open a business in VIRGIN RIVER, what kind would it be? — every week 5 winners are chosen to win a FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
HEA USA TODAY reviews RIDE WITH ME – Thanks Mandi!!
REVIEW By Mandi Schreiner , USA TODAY
Genre: Contemporary romance
Tom Geiger is ready to cycle across the United States on the TransAmerica Trail. Planning to start in Oregon and ending up in Virginia, he is looking forward to a couple of months of peaceful cycling and sightseeing as he heads east. But his sister, Taryn, has other plans for him. Worried that he is too much of a loner, she secretly places an ad for a riding companion for him and finds someone named Alex. She arranges for Alex to meet Tom at the starting point of the trip, much to Tom’s dismay. But since Taryn is really his only friend, he doesn’t want to disappoint her.
“Please, Tom. You can’t ride your bicycle across the country alone. It’s insane. You’ll end up being slaughtered by a serial killer.”
“Taryn, I’m thirty-five, single, tattooed, and anti-social. I’m the serial killer.”
But when Alex shows up, Tom gets a surprise. Alex is a woman.
Alex is also a control freak. A high school English teacher, she has been planning this trip her entire life. She has every hour of the trip mapped out. She has a special computer on her bike and other high-tech gear. One look at Tom and she knows there is going to be a problem. Tom has an old bike and isn’t even wearing proper riding gear. She tried really hard to find another woman to ride with, but no one showed interest. So now she is stuck with Tom, who is extremely anti-social and surly. She also doesn’t want Tom to get any ideas at night when their tents are pitched right next to each other, so she blurts out she is married, although she is very, very single. Off they go on their cross-country journey.
Ride with Me is the debut book by Ruthie Knox, and I really liked it. She does a great job pairing up two very stubborn protagonists and making it a fun, amusing story. Tom is so anti-social and cranky. His ex-wife cheated on him with his brother, and he has a lot of family drama in the past. He works now as a bike mechanic and goes on crazy bike rides all over the world. His downfall is that he feels guilty about a lot of things. He would feel very guilty if he left Alex behind so he grudgingly agrees to be her companion. They butt heads many, many times at the beginning as they are so different. Alex is prim and proper and refuses to be spontaneous. But Tom finds her very attractive and slowly gets her to lower her defenses.
When Tom can get her to look up from the 27 gears on her bike, he pushes her to take a side road and see the sights. They start to fall into a friendship of sorts, although with an intense edge because they each find the other extremely attractive. My one gripe with this book is that Alex hangs onto the pretend-husband story for a little too long. There comes a point where they both want to dive into the sleeping bag together, but Tom still thinks Alex is married. It takes a phone call to his sister to realize maybe she is lying and that seemed a little farfetched. I wish Alex would have just told him sooner. I did like her apology, though, when the truth finally comes out.
Once they get past all of that, there is some hot lovin’! Who knew sexy times in a tent could be so hot? When Tom starts to lighten up and Alex sees that side of him, their romance really takes off.
Ride with Me is a sexy, contemporary. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about two people who cycle across the country. I’m a sucker for road-trip books, and this one definitely fit the bill.
Mandi Schreiner started romance review blog Smexy Books in 2009. She is obsessed with reading romance novels and collecting fictional boyfriends.
So – what do you think? Did this review help you decide if it is a book you’ll want to buy? And, if you have bought it & read it — did you like, RIDE WITH ME? comment below — every week we randomly choose 5 winners to receive a random book — winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
HEA USA Book Review of Stephanie Tyler’s Night Moves
Written By Lea Franczak, USA TODAY
Night Moves is the fourth book in Stephanie Tyler’s dark, fast-paced Shadow Force series, which chronicles the lives and loves of a group of tough elite Special Forces-trained mercenaries. Tyler’s crisp, gritty prose and dialogue suit these hard-core lethal warriors who embrace the adrenaline rush provided by the dangerous missions they undertake. A prologue takes readers back to when Kell Roberts and Reid Cormier met as young emotionally scarred adolescents living in the same foster home. They forged a tight bond that strengthened during their years in the military. Kell and Reid are as close, if not closer, than brothers.
Kell and Reid continue to contend with the devastation caused by a Delta Force mission gone wrong that cost the life of one of their teammates, and left surviving team operatives, including Reid, fighting for their lives. In the wake of the rescue of his friends, Kell went rogue, spending three months in the jungle of Sierra Leone hunting down and exterminating the remaining terrorists from Dead Man’s Hand (DMH). Reid has pulled Kell in, but he struggles with guilt related to the circumstances surrounding the failed mission, and he feels disconnected, as if he left a piece of his humanity in the jungle. Leaving the military behind, Kell agrees to work a mission with Reid as part of the clandestine mercenary group formed and led by ex-Delta Force operative Dylan Scott.
Kell and Reid are about to complete the covert operation in Juarez, Mexico, when photographer Teddy Lassiter crashes into their lives, bringing a truckload of trouble in the form of mercenaries firing automatic weapons. The men are left with little choice but to spirit Teddy away, resulting in a roller-coaster ride of suspense, danger and desire as deadly threats move in from all sides. Despite Teddy spinning a web of lies related to her reasons for being on the run, Kell can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious, antagonistic woman.
Not only is Teddy on the run from a deadly threat from her past, she has the law looking for her, having given the U.S. Marshals Witness Protection Program the slip. She is tough and strong-willed but floundering in her efforts to prove the innocence of someone close to her and gain freedom from suffocating witness protection. The trio take flight to a safe location ferreted out by Reid. While en route, they run into more trouble: An enemy from Dylan’s rather colorful past is intent on vengeance.
At its heart, Night Moves is a story of two tortured souls who find comfort and love together under the most harrowing of circumstances. There are plot twists a’plenty, and the incessant danger amplifies the desire shared between a hero and heroine who grab fleeting moments of intimacy when and where they can. Readers are treated to a two-pronged love story as sparks fly when the seductive uberalpha Reid meets Grier Catherine-Grace Vanderhall, a tough, no-nonsense U.S. Marshal tasked with finding Teddy and returning her to protective custody.
Tyler paints an enticing portrait of a highly trained group of lethal alpha warriors who often function outside the law to protect innocents. She provides nail-biting suspense, loads of action spiced with one-on-one fight sequences reminiscent of a Jason Bourne movie. Further, this author isn’t afraid to integrate military-style kill scenes into her plots. Kell’s lethal weapon of choice? A pen. Readers can expect bullets flying, surprises at every turn and, for an added punch, passion in the midst of a raging hurricane.
The narratives of all four of the Shadow Force novels are complex, with multiple intersecting subplots and story arcs that culminate in Night Moves. It is for this reason I feel it is crucial for readers interested in this series to read the books in order. The Shadow Force team is brought full circle in Night Moves. The remaining members of this tight-knit family of mercenaries and their heroines make appearances, and Tyler pens an unconventional HEA for Kell and Teddy. As for Reid? Well, all I’ll say is fans will hunger for closure to his story.
The Shadow Force novels: Lie With Me, Promises In the Dark, In the Air Tonight and Night Moves.
Lea Franczak lives in Toronto with her family, which includes three dogs and one cantankerous geriatric cat. She has been blogging and reviewing since 2008 and is a contributor at Book Lovers Inc. and Desert Island Keepers as well as an active member at Goodreads.
HEA USA reviews Hometown Girl by Mariah Stewart
Review written By Kathy Altman, USA TODAY
When I think of Mariah Stewart, I think of romantic suspense. Or I used to, anyway. In Stewart’s Hometown Girl, I discovered I’ve been missing out by not reading her Chesapeake Diaries series.
In Hometown Girl, Brooke Bowers struggles to establish a life for herself and her young son back on the family farm in St. Dennis, Md. Two years earlier her husband was killed in Iraq, leaving Brooke heartbroken and in desperate need of the love and support only her hometown can provide. She works like a fiend as she finishes her degree and launches her cupcake business, but the one thing she can’t bring herself to do is become romantically involved. She tries to be social, but she’s determined to remain independent. A first date never leads to a second, earning her the nickname “one and done.”
Jesse Enright moved to St. Dennis to take his grandfather’s place as head of the family law firm. But Jesse is the only one who’s confident that the small town is where he belongs — he has a lifetime’s worth of his father’s screw-ups to live down. But he’s determined to prove himself and to raise a family of his own in the community he’s grown to love. If only the elusive Brooke Bowers would cooperate, their future together could be as delectable as her signature desserts.
While Jesse plots ways to spend time with Brooke without actually dating her, Brooke deals with the remnants of a less-than-admirable past and searches for the strength to make room for love in her future.
I haven’t (yet!) read the previous books in the Chesapeake Diaries series, but Hometown Girl is a wholly satisfying story in its own right. At first I did feel a bit of an outsider in St. Dennis and somewhat overwhelmed by Brooke’s friends and their romantic histories. I believe my unfamiliarity with the community explains why I found the book’s opening to be slow. But it didn’t take long for Stewart to entangle me in the world of St. Dennis, and she did it as subtly and as irrevocably as Jesse ensnared Brooke in his. The characters were appealing and three-dimensional, their challenges not only believable but engaging. I enjoyed the relationships among Brooke and her female friends. Besides, who can resist a wedding — or two? Throw in a personal redemption, an emotional reconciliation, a ghost, and a mysterious set of initials, and you have an engrossing story with poignant, relatable themes like grief, forgiveness, friendship, and rebirth. No big surprises, but a heartwarming read. So settle back and enjoy Hometown Girl with a cup of tea and no fewer than two cupcakes.
Kathy Altman writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense.
Next in Mariah’s series is HOME FOR THE SUMMER on sale May 29, 2012 – click here to see the full series:
USA HEA review A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
Reviewed By Mandi Schreiner, USA TODAY
Genre: Historical romance
A Lady Awakened is the debut book by Cecilia Grant, and I’m in love with this author’s voice. It is hard to explain why I love her style of writing so much, but as I read I didn’t want to miss a single word. It is a similar reading experience as to when I read Joanna Bourne books. The way she creates her sentences and the way she creates such small moments that end up so powerful really captivate me.
This story is different in terms of the plot and how things unfold. Martha Russell is a recent widow, and because she didn’t have any children during her marriage (her husband had no children in a previous marriage, so she assumes he was sterile), the brother of her late husband is set to inherit the estate. However, many reasons come into play as to why Martha does not want to lose this estate. First, she is a big supporter of the local school in her town, and if she were to leave, the funding for the school would also go away. She also learns that her brother in-law has been known to sexually abuse the servants at this estate. Fearing for the women in her house, and desperate to continue supporting the school, Martha comes up with a plan.
By total coincidence, Martha has a new neighbor in town. Mr. Mirkwood, or Theo, has been banished to the country by his father because he is a bit of a wastrel. He likes women, and he’s lazy, and his father is hoping he can learn some land management skills if he is banned from coming to town. Martha meets Theo at church (where he dozes through the sermon) and realizes she is the perfect man for her plan. Although Martha knows for a fact that she is not pregnant, no one else knows. She realizes if she pretends there is a chance she is pregnant, with a possible heir, she can stay in town for another month and delay her brother-in-law. She also realizes if she can actually get pregnant this month, then all her problems will be solved. So she asks Theo to have sex with her once a day for a month in hopes that she will conceive so she can pretend the baby is her late husband’s. Theo sees an attractive widow and can’t imagine spending his banishment to the country any other way.
But what is so different is that Martha is extremely wooden and serious. She doesn’t want to experience pleasure with Theo, she just wants to get pregnant.
Theo thinks she just doesn’t understand pleasure and sets out to seduce her, but she refuses all his attempts at anything but completing the act. This is hard for Theo to accept. There are times where he becomes very frustrated and he realizes that sex with none of the intimacy is really no fun at all. And it is not that Martha was abused by her late husband or has any physical or emotional scars that make her rebuff intimacy. It comes down to this:
“You’re not a bad man, Mirkwood. I do think you have promise. But while I find I can be cordial with a man who lives for pleasure, and even come to feel a certain regard for him, I cannot, in the end, truly admire such a man. And I don’t care to give myself up to a man I don’t admire. Pardon my frankness.”
Martha holds true to this throughout the book, and I love that her character is allowed to do this. She is steadfast in her beliefs and will not be wooed by his attempts at seduction. It is when Theo becomes involved in the community, when he starts to have a passion for something other than sex, is when Martha is wooed. When he discusses issues he is having with his estate and treats her as a person who is intelligent … that’s when Martha starts to fall in love. Even though these two have sex from the very beginning of the book, this is a true story of courtship.
For all of Martha’s issues in bed, this book is very erotic. There were times at the beginning where I wasn’t sure how I was going to like Martha. As I said, she is very rigid, but Theo is such a charmer and such a warm, kind man that I started to fall in love. And to watch them slowly fall in love with each other is special.
Mandi Schreiner started romance review blog Smexy Books in 2009. She is obsessed with reading romance novels and collecting fictional boyfriends.
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HEA USA Today review Lover’s Leap by Emily March
Review written by Serena Chase, USA TODAY
Genre: Inspirational romance
The small mountain town of Eternity Springs has a long memory — especially if a person’s past is less than pristine. Fortunately, however, the town also has a resident “angel” in Celeste Blessing, and that Harley-riding, spa-retreat-owning purveyor of romantic restoration is determined to bring hope and healing to the people of Eternity Springs.
In Lover’s Leap, the fourth book in Emily March’s Eternity Springs series, Celeste is at it again. And this time she hopes to redeem more than romance — she aims to restore a family that was torn apart before it ever had a chance to begin.
Here’s the sitch: Sarah Reese is thrilled to win an all-expense-paid trip for two to Australia, and when she and her college-age daughter, Lori, arrive at the location of their last Australian adventure — a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef — they can’t wait to get on the boat. Sarah’s excitement fizzles, however, when she hears a familiar name and realizes the captain of their charter is none other than Cameron Murphy, the teenage delinquent who ran out on her 20 years earlier — when she was 16 — and pregnant with his child. But Cam isn’t the cute juvie rebel she fell for in high school. Now, he’s a successful business owner — and he looks better than ever.
When Sarah and Lori realize that the teen driver who picked them up from the hotel is Cam’s son, the sting of betrayal is fierce. Without a word to Cam, Sarah and Lori flee, finishing their dream vacation in a mixed state of disbelief, outrage and hurt.
The town of Eternity Springs holds a thousand regrets for Cam Murphy, the biggest of which is Lori, the daughter he’s never met. He left town believing that Sarah and their daughter would be better off without the taint of his “bad Murphy blood” in their lives, but seeing Sarah again, even at a distance — and Lori, for the first time — awakens the desire to reclaim his first and only love and to cultivate a relationship with his daughter. He and his teenage son leave their business in Australia and head to Colorado so Cam can confront the demons of his past. But he doesn’t know that, since he left 20 years ago, an angel has come to rest awhile in Eternity Springs, and she is determined to see that Cam — and his relationship with Sarah — is redeemed.
Hits & misses: The characters and setting of this novel are well-developed. Even coming in late (Lover’s Leap is the fourth book in what’s expected to be a five-novel series) the author provides just enough back story to ensure a first-time visitor to Eternity Springs won’t become lost or confused. Fans of the first three books of the series will likely have a much clearer grasp on the large cast of characters — including the mystery of who/what Celeste Blessing is (and what she’s about) than those who are new to the series, but those coming in fresh to book four shouldn’t have too much trouble catching on.
Lover’s Leap is an enjoyable book, but this is not a thrill-a-minute novel or a cozy one-afternoon read. The plot is fairly clear from the beginning, but with all the angst-ridden side roads and necessary back story the reader must navigate in order to reach the story’s climax, there are times it seems as though it is taking for-ev-er to get from point A to point C. The author was, perhaps, a bit overly thorough in her plot development — the story’s pace would have benefited by condensing some of the lesser subplots — but it is still a pleasant story.
To read or not to read: Readers who remember the Della Reese/Roma Downey series, Touched by an Angel, will find Eternity Springs a comfortable place to visit; but, unlike the squeaky-clean TV show, they will find this small town’s residents a little more — ahem — sexually driven. While there is nothing in this book that (most) readers would consider overly erotic, there are some pretty titillating lead-ins that leave the reader with no doubt as to what has transpired in the bedroom. (Or in the shower. Or under the tree. Or … well, you get the idea.)
Emily March has created a fun cast of characters who just happen to benefit from the intervention of a nosy, angelic advocate. With passion, romance, and revealing moments that will touch your heart, Lover’s Leap takes readers on an unhurried journey where past mistakes are redeemed and a more beautiful future is forged — one miracle at a time.
A writer, performer and accomplished partaker of dark chocolate, Serena Chase lives in Iowa with her husband and two daughters. Her reviews can also be found at the blog Edgy Inspirational Romance.
Check out the rest of the Eternity Springs novels here Start the series with Angels Rest – Enjoy!
FREE Excerpt – Ride With Me – Ruthie Knox
“A sweet yet sultry, honest and heart-tugging ride. Everything a love story should be!” Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author
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New York Times Best Selling Author of A HOME BY THE SEA
“Ride With Me is smart, sexy and funny, and once I picked it up I could not put it down. Can’t wait for more from Ruthie Knox. ”
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Samantha Hunter, Harlequin Blaze
“A charming, off-beat romance romance debut, with a fresh new voice to keep the rest of us on our toes. Discover Ruthie Knox now, so you can say, ‘I read her when…’” —Meg Maguire, author of The Reluctant Nude
RIDE WITH ME by Ruthie Knox, A Loveswept eOriginal Excerpt
HEA at USA – Book Review of Sweet Revenge by Christy Reece
Review written by – Mary Grzesik, USA TODAY
Sweet Revenge is Christy Reece’s latest Last Chance Rescue novel, and it starts off with a heart-racing, daring rescue. Dylan Savage, a Last Chance Rescue operative, is sneaking into a house to rescue kidnapped schoolteacher Jamie Kendrick. This first scene is very telling about these two characters.
When Dylan reaches the room where Jamie is held, she jumps on his back. Not wanting to hurt her, he drops to the floor. She says in a raspy voice,
“Touch me and I’ll kill you.”
Dylan feels admiration and compassion at the same time. He’s relieved that she’s “tough.” Dylan reassures Jamie that he is there to rescue her, but she doesn’t believe him. She’s naked and chained by one wrist. Jamie covers herself with a sheet while Dylan picks the lock on the handcuffs then gives her his shirt. She is weak and barefoot but determined to walk out on her own. For expediency he picks her up tenderly and rushes her out of there.
Jamie’s and Dylan’s personalities contradict their appearances: Dylan is alpha strong with a tender middle, and Jamie is petite with an iron will. This theme weaves throughout the book and makes their interactions riveting.
Stanford Reddington is a wealthy, “respectable” businessman. He has many diverse business interests, but his human-trafficking division is hidden under layers of secrecy. He lives in a secret location with his wife and daughters. What makes this villain particularly creepy is how normal he is with his family. He loves his wife and treats her with great respect. He dotes on his daughters and toddler son, and they have everything they need, except a view of the outside world. It’s another contrast: He considers the girls he kidnaps for his business “merchandise.” He’s angry when Jamie escapes. The law put a microscope on him, but he came out OK by saying he was taking care of Jamie in her abused condition. His older son, Lance, who was involved in the human trafficking, has been sent away to keep him out of trouble.
Jamie’s sole purpose now is to stop Reddington from hurting anyone else, not just revenge. She wants to be trained by LCR so she can go after Reddington herself. The LCR team, including her sister/LCR operative McKenna, wants Jamie to return to her old life while they take care of Reddington. She deals her way in by dangling insider info she heard as a prisoner in Reddington’s home. She won’t divulge the info until she’s trained. She spends a few grueling months at a cabin, training under Dylan’s tutelage. Jamie’s been in love with Dylan since her rescue. Dylan tries to keep her at arm’s length but fails miserably. Their chemistry is too strong. When Jamie’s training is almost complete, Dylan pushes her to divulge the insider info. To break their bond, he lies and claims that’s all he ever wanted from her and she’s furious and hurt at the same time. She leaves him there.
Jamie promises her sister McKenna that she is taking a teaching job in the U.S. In reality, and in disguise, she’s taken a teaching job with the Reddington family. Dylan, also undercover, has worked his way into Reddington’s inner circle and is invited to his private island. Dylan’s and Jamie’s paths converge again, although Jamie recognizes Dylan well before he recognizes her, from her laugh. They find what they came for with some unexpected help. Their late-night escape from the island is knuckle-biting. The HEA is very satisfying, even if Jamie thinks it’ll never happen.
Christy does it again with another terrific couple. I loved this book for its message of hope and redemption. Jamie is one of the toughest heroines I’ve ever read. She bounces back from a horrific experience and balances great determination with a loving heart and a love of teaching children. Dylan is my favorite type of hero: tough, strong alpha but gentle with Jamie. He overcame a horrible childhood, obtaining a psychology degree so he can help others. He respects Jamie’s strength and determination and treasures her at the same time, an irresistible combination.
I’m looking forward to the last of the trilogy, Sweet Reward.
Special Giveaway: Win an Advance Copy of Sophie Kinsella’s Latest!
One lost engagement ring
Two lost cell phones :/
One wrong number . . .
Could it lead Poppy Wyatt to Mr. Right? <3
Today we’re offering you all a chance to preview the new novel from mega-bestselling author Sophie Kinsella! The book goes on sale on Valentine’s Day (how appropriate), but you may score one of 25 of copies by entering to win below.
I read this in manuscript and goodness, was it addictive. I’ve Got Your Number is a witty, hilarious page-turner that reads like your favorite romantic comedy in book form—except packing more warmth and longing than could ever be conveyed on film. I found Poppy to be an adorable heroine, and I rooted for her straight through the satisfying end.
If you’re looking for the trademark wit of the Shopaholic series with a little less screwball comedy and a bit more love story, this romantic novel may be the perfect Kinsella brew for you. Highly recommended!
(By the way, you can find Sophie on Facebook, and take it from me–she’s just as witty in real life as she is on the page. )
Demon Lover, FREE Excerpt! WINNERS announced! Congrats 2 all!
– Do you love paranormal romance? Are you looking for something just a little different – read on & comment below whether this is a book you’re sure to buy – enjoy!!
Demon Lover by Juliet Dark
– Do you love paranormal romance? Are you looking for something just a little different – read on & comment below whether this is a book you’re sure to buy – enjoy!!
A few comments from readers who enjoyed this book:
Winners will be announced in this post – check back Sunday to see if you’re one – Good Luck!
Congrats to our winners!! Thanks all for commenting & liking us on Facebook – Happy Romance!
SWEET REWARD, author Christy Reece is reviewed by Danielle – Must Read! Enjoy
Jared Livingston not only likes living life on the edge, but his job as an operative for Last Chance Rescue gives him all the rush he needs. His new case happens to hit close to home when his ex wife calls with her baby has been kidnapped. Although they don’t get along he feels like he needs to help out no matter what it may cost in the end.
Mia Ryker is an ex-Last Chance Rescue operative who now runs her own rescue business in Chicago. When the case starts not to make compete sense she is brought in to help Jared put all the pieces together to get the baby back safe. This includes working with the sexiest man she has ever encountered.
Sparks start to fly as Jared and Mia start to work very closely together. Mia takes a chance and decides she wants to go undercover, but Jared isn’t sold on the idea. She is bringing out feelings in him that are more than confusing so he tends to try to ignore them as the case starts to progress. In the battle with himself he finds it more difficult than he has expected.
Reece brings you on ride that is emotional and action packed from the beginning to the very end. I wouldn’t say I fell in love with this book but it was a book that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what in the world is going to happen. Jared is a hero that you easily like or instantly don’t. I found myself on the fence about his character throughout reading. In the beginning he is so cold and hard, I got the feeling he would never soften, but as the story did progress it became clear on why he was the way he was. So when he does a 180 i have to admit I was more than pleased.
I loved the fact that Mia brought in her emotions in everything she did. They were both just so different that they ended balancing each other out very well. Mia didn’t end up being so kick ass as I first thought of her to be, but none the less she was the perfect heroine for Jared. The way she doesn’t back down to him or anyone else makes him want her even more than he would have ever expected. The way she ends up gets to him is really is a classic.
No relationship is ever easy especially not there’s. They will have to work at their relationship to keep it in balance. Although the case takes you on turn after turn, you can’t help but feel the tension between these two which to me was the best part of the story. Sweet Reward will leave you with just that… a reward that will leave you with an ending that you will never forget.
AND MORE from USA Today:
By Mary Grzesik, USA TODAY
Genre: Romantic suspense
Sweet Reward is the final book in Christy Reece’s Last Chance Rescue series. It’s a book I wanted to savor but raced through because of the non-stop excitement.
Jared Livingston is an LCR operative. He is a tough, aloof and tortured hero and an adrenaline junkie. He has no family and has drifted away from his only friend, Lucas Kane, a fellow LCR operative.
Mia Maxwell, the younger daughter of a diplomat, is the dynamo who runs Ryker’s Rescue. Mia suffered debilitating injuries during a kidnapping when she was younger, and her tough road back to health has made her sassy and smart-mouthed, tough and graceful at the same time. She originally worked for Noah McCall at LCR but was fired for not following op team rules.
Just as Jared is finishing a rescue op, his ex-wife, Lara, calls him because her baby daughter has disappeared. He rushes to Paris to try to help her and her husband. On the other side of the ocean in Chicago, Mia is helping drug addict Sandi Winston in her search for her baby. Sandi sold her daughter but, now that she’s sober, is regretting her actions. Mia calls on Noah for info. There’s buzz about infant kidnappings in various parts of the world, and she wants to know if they’re connected.
Jared is sent to Chicago to meet with Mia. Their chemistry is off the charts. Mia is nervous in Jared’s presence and comes off a bit flaky. For the first time in years, Jared finds himself smiling and wanting to laugh. He can’t resist her charm and grace and underestimates her skills as an operative. He just can’t believe that this whirlwind sitting on the floor wrestling with her five dogs is capable of working with him. Of course Mia rises to the challenge, and you’ll cheer her on.
During their investigation they see a few names that are connected to one person. Mia is shocked because she briefly dated this man, whose worst sin, to her, was being full of himself and boring. Philippe Ricard runs the Ricard Charitable Foundation. He is a conceited megalomaniac operating under the guise of a caring, generous citizen. His foundation helps build schools and libraries in impoverished areas. His newest endeavor is under the radar, taking children from questionable circumstances and placing them with deserving families for large amounts of money. He made an exception with Lara’s child. At a fundraiser Philippe overheard Lara, who is a doctor, complaining of being tired because of her baby, and he considered that reason enough to take her.
As the relationship between Mia and Jared heats up, Mia realizes that she is the way into Philippe’s inner circle. Jared is against it, but Mia has Noah’s support. Jared has to listen in while Mia goes on “dates” with Philippe. She finds him distasteful, but her “interest” feeds Philippe’s massive ego. He sees her as perfect wife material for him. Meanwhile, Mia hates that Jared is listening to every word of their chats. But Jared can hardly stand to listen. The only thing that helps them both is that Jared is waiting for Mia at the end of each “date.”
When their covers are blown, Mia and Jared must not show their feelings for each other. The only way to survive is through sheer will. Eye contact is their only form of communication until they can make their move, and this poignant moment in the midst of such heart-racing suspense is just incredible. I loved Mia and Jared’s banter and chemistry. I loved seeing how Mia’s joy and heart altered Jared’s perception of the future he thought he’d have. This book is definitely a “sweet” end to the series.
Mary Grzesik is a book lover, beta reader and contributor at the Romance & Oreos Book Club.
Hot off the Press – Danielle reviews – LOVER’S LEAP, by Emily March
When Sarah Reece’s boyfriend was escorted out of town in handcuffs twenty years before her heart broke into pieces. That wasn’t even the icing on the cake. Nope. The icing was when she told him that she was pregnant with his baby. The worst blow hit her when he said that her and the baby were a mistake. Although the strong Sarah never got over her love, she always did her best to raise Lori.
Winning a trip of a lifetime to the lush Australia is what the Mother and daughter team needed. This was to be the best vacation they had ever had, well that was until they received the surprise of both their lives and ended up on a boat with Cameron Murphy. And to make matters worse he was with his son. It ended up being way too much for Lori and Sarah, so much that they retreat back to Eternity Springs where it is safe and Cameron isn’t.
One major regret Cameron has in his life was leaving behind the woman he loved and their unborn child. Seeing them standing on his boat was very real. It was also very real when he sees them both running from him. He has never been so hurt or confused. Now that his past has come back to confront him, he won’t give them the chance to run away. It’s about time he gets to know his beautiful daughter and see the one woman who he has loved forever.
Returning to the place he left so long ago wasn’t in the cards, but now it is time to face the past and try to make a mends with not only the woman he has never forgotten but to try to reach out to the daughter he never got the chance to know. It’s time to make his family whole and he is pulling out all the stops to do just that.
I loved this book. The emotions that were brought out in the read were truly overwhelming. I couldn’t help by tear up the moment Lori sees her father for the first time and decides she isn’t ready for this at all. You can’t help but not to feel for these characters and what they are going through in the story. I not only found Lover’s Leap to be an emotional ride, but to insightful. Sometimes you must overcome past mistakes and take control of the future. Getting over the past is what Cam and Sarah must do to help Lori heal. I felt for Cam and the way he had to prove that he isn’t the same person he was when he left town.
This story is filled with love, emotions and heartache that will have you reaching for the tissues. I loved every moment of this story and can’t wait to read what Emily March has next in store for us. This story will give you more than a hope but a second chance of a happily ever after.
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Sue’s Review – The Demon Lover, by Juliet Dark + 5 Book Giveaway!!
I gasped, or tried to. My mouth opened, but I couldn’t draw breath. His lips, pearly wet, parted and he blew into my mouth. My lungs expanded beneath his weight. When I exhaled he sucked my breath in and his weight turned from cold marble into warm living flesh.
Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.
A very good friend, whom I trust immensely, had asked if I’d read this book — of course, I said yes before I even knew what I was getting myself into.
Don’t get me wrong — I like paranormal romance – at one point, I could not stop reading paranormal — Feehan, Kenyon, Ward – I immersed myself in the sub-genre, so much so, that I lost track of what else was being published. Since then I’ve been reading more mainstream books, so to delve back into the unknown worlds of darkness and pleasure — this book would have to be pretty damn good to hold my attention.
Boy, & hold your attention . . oh yea, DEMON LOVER does just that — I will agree with most of the reviews on this book and that it is a bit slow to start. Callie as a young girl has always had some intense sexual dreams. As she got older they waned. She went off to college, met Paul (her mortal boyfriend) & anticipated at some point they would become engaged and marry. Graduated from college looking for a teaching job she becomes an instructor at Fairwick College. Fairwick was not at all what it seemed and as the weeks went by she noticed odd things . . .but more importantly, her demon lover came back. As the story unfolds you see many different angles develop. Callie herself realizes she is not the mortal she thought she was, nor was her family & neither was dear grand-mama in particular. Very cleverly written, intertwining historical facts with fiction and so forth. A nice mystery woven to the end, leaving you hooked for the next book. Although witches are the primary character type, incubus, demons, shifters and other worldly creatures make an appearance giving lots of depth to the story.
DEMON LOVER is a romantic story, but not a classical romance — at least not how you or I would categorize it. It is sexy, Callie has romantic encounters but everything is edgier, which really was a nice change for me —- I did not have to forgo my favorite elements of a romance book as DEMON LOVER included them plus a whole lot more.
Caution — although not a Happy Ending, it was satisfying . . or understandable. But, by the time you get to the end, you’re ok with that so it does not detract from the story.
So here’s my take, this is a book for you if you answer yes to these questions —
This might be the book you’ve been waiting for — Let me know what you think? What is it about paranormal romance that makes it a must buy for you?
5 book giveaway! comment below – winners announced at the end of the day — good luck!
Amazon Reviewers – excerpted comments:
Demon Lover is the grown-up’s [insert any hot YA paranormal romance]; it’s like the coolest lit professor ever decided to teach a class on gothic novels, then slipped in folklore on fairies, witches, vampires, and other magical creatures. There were references to Twilight, The Mysteries of Udolpho, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Dracula, The Faerie Queene, Tam Lin, and (what won my devotion) an outright homage to the queen of gothic romances, Victoria Holt. [Holt also penned a novel called The Demon Lover, which I don't think is a coincidence. And yeah, I own a copy.]
The Demon Lover was dark, delicious and oh so addicting. It’s like your favorite piece of decadant Dark Chocolate; melts in your mouth and leaves you wanting more long after you devoured it. I will admit that the beginning was kind of slow, but when the story picked up, boy did it pick up in a big way.
Donna S http://www.romanceatrandom.com/sues-review-the-demon-lover-by-juliet-dark-5-book-giveaway/#comment-41646
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen + Giveaway!
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
If you like Adriana Trigiani or Kristian Hannah, you’ll enjoy, THE PEACH KEEPER – this is a good Southern type of contemporary story with a little mystery woven in. Nice romances (yes there are two!) and good characters – very enjoyable story.
View all my reviews
Sarah is unique in her ability to create that contemporary Southern, ‘comfort-reading’ story. Set in the Blue Ridge Mts, we meet two women who are trying to move on with their lives. Willa, whose fallen a bit from the towns grace with an old scandal created by her grandfather and Paxton who is just trying to get away from a very controlling, wealthy Southern family. Each find their heroes to be men that have been in their lives all along but just did not even realize . . or did, but because of circumstance, could not act on it. As the story develops a body is found creating a small murder mystery from years ago — as this plot line develops, Paxton & Willa become friends and also find out they are linked in the outcome of this mystery.
Very well written, great paced story with twists & turns & fun characters — If you enjoy Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, Jan Karon, Sarah’s contemporary Southern story will appeal to your reading tastes too – enjoy!
Willa Jackson: Thirty-year-old woman from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago; owner of Au Naturel Sporting Goods and Café; perpetual joker as a youth.
Paxton (Pax) Osgood: Socialite do-gooder; an old classmate of Willa’s
Tucker Devlin: Charismatic traveling salesman
Colin Osgood: Landscape architect and Paxton’s twin brother.
Sebastian Rogers: A local dentist and Paxton’s friend. Beautiful and thoughtful.
Georgie Jackson: Willa’s grandmother and one of the two co-founders of the Women’s Society Club. She is currently in a nursing home diagnosed with a dementia.
Agatha Osgood: Pax”s grandmother and one of the two co-founders of the Women’s Society Club. She is currently in a nursing home diagnosed with a macular degeneration.
Sophia Osgood: Paxton’s mother
Was this review helpful? Ask me any question below & I’ll try to answer for you & help you decide if this is a book for you! Happy reading! SueG
Allen juggles smalltown history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama. The underlying tension will please and unnerve readers, as well as leave them eager for Allen’s next.
Praise for Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon
“Captivating . . . Sarah Addison Allen produces tantalizing fiction.”—The Roanoke Times
“A dusting of magic, the aroma of sugary cakes swirling through the breeze, and a girl who unwittingly brings change to a town of misfits make for a sweet summer story filled with hope and forgiveness.”—Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
“Charming and entertaining . . . Don’t miss this spellbinding tale.”—Asheville Citizen Times
“Allen clearly knows that all the fun is in the journey. . . . Sit back, open this book and join her.”—Greensboro News & Record
“An enjoyable read [with] doses of magical realism and romance.”—Associated Press
“Easy to devour in one sitting.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
5 winners are randomly chosen weekly for a random book on Romance At Random and winners are announced on Sunday’s –Good Luck!
Eloisa James Reviews NEVER LOVE A HIGHLANDER for B&N
If you haven’t tapped into this Scottish romance series yet, each book in the trilogy features one of the three unforgettable McCabe brothers. All three books are on sale now and have been getting accolades from all directions–fans and authors alike.
Check out Louisa’s review!
The hero in Maya Banks’s Never Love a Highlander may not be catapulted into modern times, but he has all the arrogance of a Viking — and his new wife is no docile maiden, ready to blindly follow her laird. Rionna McDonald is the kind of lass who can’t imagine submitting to a husband, even after she finds herself married to Caelen. In fact, the morning after his wedding, Caelen wanders into the courtyard and discovers two people fighting furiously — one of whom turns out to be his wife. Rionna doesn’t appreciate Caelen’s dictatorial reaction (“You’ll not indulge in such activities again”). But dissension between the newlyweds is not their biggest problem; Rionna’s disgruntled, dishonorable father stirs up trouble wherever he can. I adore marriage-of-convenience stories, and this is a terrific one. Caelen and Rionna battle it out with a passionate intensity that turns Highlander into a tale reminiscent of the early novels of Julie Garwood. Rionna’s father threatens the relationship, but not as much as Caelen’s stubbornness does…which means that the moment he tells Rionna “There is not a single part of my heart or soul that you do not own” is hard-won — and wonderfully rewarding.