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Review: Princess for a Bride

princess-for-a-brideVictoria Rothman is getting married to a man she hardly knows.  As the Princess of Villemont, a small country that borders France and Switzerland, it is important to forge a permanent alliance between her family and that of her father’s best friend.  And while Edward Farmingham Channing IV might have been a fixture of her childhood, it hardly bothers her that the man never speaks with her.

It doesn’t matter if husband and wife lead separate lives just so long as they produce an heir and hold one of the most extravagant weddings in all of Europe.  In Princess for A Bride, Noelle Adams  explores the limits and possibilities of romance in an arranged marriage.

Marrying Edward had originally been her sister Amalie’s responsibility.  But her sister went to university in the United States and married a laid back American.  So to the altar it is for Victoria and Edward.  Edward seems entirely bored and unexcited during the wedding ceremony and downright cold on their wedding night.

When he offers to delay sex until they know one another better, is he being concerned and caring?  Or is something else going on?  As the two vacation in at an exclusive resort in Fiji, he locks himself away.  She draws him out and the two slowly become closer.  But why doesn’t he kiss her?  And why does he withdraw one moment, confide in her the next?  Why does he neglect her and then feel jealous?

Fairytale moment: he offers her access to his money and own account — giving her a freedom that she has never felt before as a princess.  Although she immediately promises not to waste his money.

As the two grow closer together in Fiji, Victoria realizes she no longer wants a husband with whom she will lead separate lives.  But she’s not going to beg for his attention and affection.  She’s a Rothman, after all.

Will Victoria and Edward trust each other with their secret’s?  What does Edward do when he locks himself away in a secret room all day?  Read Princess for a Bride and find out.

 

 

 

 

Posted in books, dating, fiction, love, relationships, romance, women

Review: Everything For Her

everything-for-herMallory was raised in foster care in Connecticut.  She went to Yale on a scholarship.  And now she has one of the most coveted internships in the country.  She’ll be working at Osbourne Corp — the same company that sponsored her scholarship and paid for her education.  And although she can’t afford New York, her Yale roommate, Paige can afford to buy a condo in Lennox Hill.

So Paige and Lennox can do New York in style.  And on the night before her internship, they go out for a drink at a bar.  She is waiting for Paige to finish talking to a man when a mysterious man pays for her drink.  Altough Mallory initially hesitates to give him her name and phone number  — his shoes cost more than her rent — they are soon trading intense and flirty texts..  She hesitantly gives her name and number to him.  He calls himself Oz.  As in the wizard of.

Is he sweet and charming?  Presumptuous and controlling?  In Everything for Her, Alexa Riley explores the fine line between love and obsession.

At first things seem perfect.  She’s off to a great start at her internship.  Oz sends charming and flirty texts.  He whisks her off to great restaurants.  He drops off package’s with her doorman.

He keeps her on pins and needles waiting for his texts.  It’s fun and scary at once that he comes on so strong.  She thinks he’s just trying to get laid although he promises that he’s after much more.  And checks in – wishes her luck, asks how her day was.  He is charming and she is hooked.

Except that he also orders her to wear her hair up and to wear red lipstick.  He is jealous of her shirt — because it look’s like another man’s shirt.  And suddenly the man that Paige had been talking to in the bar shows up, following them everywhere.  And suddenly Paige is acting very weird, constantly asking her about Oz, and warning her that men like Oz aren’t always what they seem.

It turns out that the secret man is Miles Osbourne and when he finds Paige dancing with their old statistic’s professor, he attacks the man.  Why is Paige acting so strangely?  Do Miles love Mallory?  Or is he a crazy man with a bank account?  Read Everything For Her and find out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: Now That I’ve Found You

now-that-ive-found-youDrake Sullivan is a prestigious artist living in a secluded hunter’s cabin near Montauk, and Rosalind  (Rosa) Bouchard is a trashy reality t.v. show star.  When a scandal breaks out and naked photos of her are spread across the internet, she climbs into her old car and drives for twenty-four hours, checking into a hotel under a false name.

Rosalind is the center of public attention.  Some believe she is an exhibitionist.  Some believe that the naked photos are a violation of her private life.  Experts weigh in.

And it’s not easy to hide out without help.  And when her car breaks down on the side of the road, Drake steps in to help her out, arranging to get her car repaired and helping with the bills so that she can maintain her privacy without using her credit cards.

In Now That I’ve Found You, Bella Andre brings two unlikely people together and makes you root for them.  Drake — who has been living a very private life in self-imposed exile in Montauk — feels the urge to paint Rosalind.  But he has sworn never to paint people.

But when Rosa shows up to his cabin and finds him painting her, he asks her permission and she agrees on the condition that he never show a single person. she goes to thank him and repay him and finds him painting her.  He asks her for permission to paint her.  She doesn’t know if she should trust him or not.

Will he keep his promise?  What will happen when his sister shows up and sees the paintings?  If Rosalind finds out will she trust him?  And as he continues painting Rosa, will be become his father – a man who singularly and obsessively painted one woman (Drake’s mother) until she left them and it broke him?  Is he making himself vulnerable to love?  And if so will that love be obsessive and destructive as his father’s?  Read Now That I’ve Found You and find out.

Posted in books, dating, love, relationships, romance, women

Review: A Teaspoon of Trouble

a-teaspoon-of-trouble.jpegMix together a spoonful of nostalgia, an ounce of high school sweetheart, a cup full of charity bake-off, a large hunk of gorgeous veterinarian, a sweet four-year-old orphan, a pinch of unruly dog, and a charity baking event.  Let set and enjoy.  This is the recipe for Shirley Jump‘s A Teaspoon of Trouble.

Carolyn Hanson works an eighty hour per week job as a sous chef in New York City and lives in a tiny apartment.  But when her sister Sandy is killed in a car accident, leaving her nurse Emma in her care, Carolyn must figure out how to make room for a four-year-old.  And an unruly dog.

Carolyn has no idea how to talk to a child much less connect with one.  She has no idea what to say when Emma keeps asking for her mother.  So she takes Emma on vacation to hometown in Montana.  Maybe her mother will give her some ideas.  There she runs into the town veterinarian, Matt, who was her former high school sweetheart.

Matt and Carolyn make a deal.  She will coach him at baking and make sure he wins the town charity bachelor bake-off and he will teach her how to make the dog obey.

 

As Matt and Carolyn spend more time together will their old chemistry return?  How will they reconcile the small town life that he wants with the big city life that she wants?  Will Carolyn learn to connect to Emma?  Will she figure out how to support a four year old daughter into her demanding lifestyle?  Will Carolyn’s baking lessons pay off?  Or will Matt burn the town down during the competition?  Read A Teaspoon of Trouble and find out.

 

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Review: Marrying Emily

marrying-emily.jpgSusan Stoker‘s Marrying Emily is an unusual romance novel in that it starts where most romance novels end — with a wedding.  Fletch, the lucky groom, is part of a team of Delta Force soldiers, and has already adopted Emily’s spirited daughter, Annie.

Annie is the kind of girl who is wearing combat boots with her wedding dress and enjoys playing soldier.  She’s is a tomboy — full of heart and energy and fun.  She is also utterly unpredictable.

Emily could not be happier that Fletch has adopted Annie.  The affection between Annie and Fletch shines throughout the ceremony. But can all of this perfection last?

It’s a beautiful wedding.  Until….

No, no one gets jilted at the alter or discovers that they are secretly married as is typical of romance books.  What happens is actually must worse.  The wedding guests are taken hostage at gunpoint.  Fletch is confident that he and his Delta Force team could over take the gunmen.  But can they do so without putting the women in danger?  Many of the members of the Delta Team (and SEALs in attendance) have been injured in combat. Are the injured members of the Delta Force up to the task after they have relinquished their prosthetic arms and legs to the gunmen?  And as he formulates a plan, can he account for his adopted daughter’s free-spirited, unpredictable behavior?  Read Marrying Emily and find out.

One thing that is very unique about Marrying Emily is that the book focuses substantially more on the character and their struggles than on the hostage situation.  There is a grim reality to how American veterans are treated and the trauma that many went through in Iraq.  Susan Stoker brings veterans issues front and center and the book will provoke you to consider the place of veterans in our society.  Here are some organizations to check out:  The Wounded Warrior Project, The Given Limb Foundation, and Fischer House Foundation.  Please add more to the comments below.

 

 

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Review: Hillbilly Rockstar

hillbilly-rockstarCountry and Western music star Devin McClain has had a string of weird things happen recently.  Like someone breaking into his bus to beat him up.  Luckily he was out with a girl — a journalist so the vandal didn’t find him.  They beat up JT instead.

The natural thing for any hot, muscular rock star to do is to hire a hot, female security guard (see how cool Lorelei James is as a romance novelist!  She’s given the Hillybilly Rockstar a female bodyguard.  It’s a reversal of Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard.)

Liberty Masterson to the rescue.  She doesn’t want to work for him; he’s a cocky dick, after all.  But she’s going to get a big bonus if she can manage to put up with him. And she’s a female so it won’t raise any eyebrows or create unnecessary publicity in the form of questions about a strange man/ bodyguard on the tour.

Their relationship gets off to a rocky start with some ugly and biting banter about her looks.  But he quickly realizes he’s attracted to her, and she is soon punishing herself for being drawn into that rock star charisma.

Will his macho behavior get in the way of her doing her job?  Who is behind this string of incidents?  Will the rockstar break her heart?  Will his heartbreaking past prevent him from realizing that she is an incredible woman?  And why is she so easy to open up to?  Read Hillbilly Rockstar and find out.

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Review: Highland Sinner

book_highland-sinner.pngSomeone – or something – is trying to frame Sir Tormand Murray.  First, he wakes up next to a corpse in the bedchamber of a woman with whom he has been having an affair.  Although he sneaks out unscathed, his ring is later found in the dead woman’s bedchamber.

In Highland Sinner, author Hannah Howell treats witchcraft with modern day and does a good job of capturing the fear and animosity that the town treats Morainn in the face of a series of gory killings.

Recalling that his foster brother had had some similar bad luck with women, someone recommends that he contacts a witch.  Tormand – ever the pragmatistic – doesn’t quite believe in witches.  He believes in the pleasure of life — and being quite the playboy.  He’s “kenned” plentiful women.

But when another of those women meets the same fate, his fate is thrown together with Morainn.

 

Morrain can’t help but be intrigued by the crime and by Tormand.  She’s been having visions of a man with death sitting on his shoulder.  But her presence and curiosity are a danger to her.  The crowd does not trust witches.  Shopkeepers shudder and cross themselves in her presence.

 

And as for Tormand — it’s probably not a good idea to get yourself romantically involved with a witch after you’ve been associated with a crime scene — but he can’t help but be intrigued by Morainn.  She is a woman after all.  And beautiful.

Who this killer going after every woman that was “kenned” by Tormand?  Who is trying to frame him and why?  Are Morainn’s vision dreams enough to bring justice?  Can Morainn and Tormand together escape this ruthless killer?  Will the fire burning between Morainn and Tormand be the same fire that burned between him and so many other women?  Or can he be faithful and offer the soul deep love she needs?  Can she trust him despite his past?  Read Highland Sinner and find out.

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Review: Kill Without Shame

kill-without-shameLucas St. Clair and Mia Ramon were high school sweethearts.  But his wealthy, politically connected family didn’t approve of their relationship.  The son of Senator St. Clair must marry the right woman.  And so Lucas broke her heart due to his father’s wishes.

But that was years ago.  In Alexandra Ivy‘s Kill Without Shame, Lucas is one of five Afghanistan vets who runs Apres Security — the security agency that appears in her other novels. But now he’s back in town.  Eh won’t be touching is father’s money.  A detective shows up looking for leads on a murder of a guy he knew in high school.  And that guy was murdered with a picture of Mia in his pocket and the words ‘kill her or else’ written on it.

And the former prisoner of war won’t be touching is father’s money.  Does that mean he’ll be seeking out Mia?  No — it’s danger, not romance that brings them totgether when a detective shows up looking for leads on a murder of an old high school classmate.  And that classmate was murdered with a picture of Mia in his pocket and the words ‘kill her or else’ written on it.

Why does the dead man have a photo of her in his pocket?  Why the threat?  Is the crime connected to Mia’s landscape company?  What secrets from the past will the investigation turn up?  Will she forgive Lucas or will the past get in the way of his ability to keep her safe.  Who is trying to kill Mia? Read Kill Without Shame and find out.

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Review: Deception Island

deception-island.jpegWhen it comes to romance novels, it’s pretty rare to find one that is dark and tackles serious themes like human trafficking.  Brynn Kelly‘s Deception Island is a rare exception, reminding me of the movie Blood Diamonds in the sense that this is squarely a genre novel that brings awareness of an important social issue.  Deception Island is suspenseful enough that I could see it being made into a similar kind of movie.

The deal is a kidnap for a kidnap.

Rafe Angelito’s son has been kidnapped and in return he been ordered to kidnap Laura Hyland, the daughter of an American senator.  There’s just one problem Laura is sailing and sipping cocktails on her father’s yatch in Bali while Holly Ryan is circumnavigating the globe on a stunt tour, posed as Laura.

Holly has a criminal past and aims to turn over a new leaf.  No more cons.  She plans to be a law abiding citizen.  But when she is kidnapped and her first couple of escapes fail, she has to turn on the charm and seduction to save her life.

As they grow closer together, she learns more about his past – his life growing up in a refugee camp and his induction into a militia as a child soldier.  Now the same brutal group has kidnapped his son.  The portrayal of the life of child soldiers and human trafficking is brutal and devastating, and I really appreciate Brynn Kelly for bringing these themes and this awareness into a mainstream novel.

Will Rafe fall for her seduction?  Will she fall for him in the process?  Will her seductions save her?  Will he be forced to kill her when he finds out that she is not who she claims to be?  Read Deception Island and find out.

 

Did you know that there are between 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today?

Did you know that the average cost of a slave is $90?

Did you know that many child soldiers are forced to act violently against their families so that they have no choice to ever return home?

Did you know that in the past ten years, there have been 21 armed conflicts that recruit child soliders?

As you read Deception Island, please also check out – The Polaris Project, Urban LightGoodWeave, and Child Soldiers International.

 

 

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Review: Make Me Love You

Dominic Wolfe has challenged Robert Whitworth to one too many duels.  It’s caused quite a scandal in the scene around London.  Prince George demands that the Whitworth and Wolfe families end the violence and form an alliance – via marriage.  Although Thomas Whitworth is indignant, his wife Harriet sees the value of sending their neglected daughter Brooke to the Wolfe estate.  It might be the only chance to save her son and their estate.

The idea of feuding families and tragic love comes off as being a bit Romeo-and-Juliet-esque but the characters in Johanna Lindsey‘s Make Me Love You are a force.  Will their end be just as tragic?

Robert Whitworth – the heir – likes the idea of sending Brooke off to be married.  He is certain that Dominic Wolfe will refuse Brooke and be stripped of his land and titles.  If the Wolfe family is reduced to paupers and their feud goes away, all the better for him.  He moreover instructs Brooke to poison the Wolfe after their wedding.

Brooke is initially disappointed.  Her brother’s dueling is going to cost her the Season in London.  But she quickly realizes that the marriage arrangement is an opportunity to escape from her family.  Brooke is the tomboy type whose hobbies include: horseback riding and curing ailments with herbs from the garden so in my perspective the Season in London wouldn’t suit her anyway.

When Brooke arrives at Wolfe’s home, however, she learns the reason behind all of the duels.  Her brother killed Wolfe’s sister.  And he has nothing but animosity for her.

Wolfe is still injured from the duel.  Will her knowledge of herbs and leeches save him?  Will it lessen the animosity he feels toward her? (Leeches are truly a way to seduce a man!)  Will he succeed at driving her away and stripping her family of its lands and titles?

Slowly the two begin to respect each other.  But when Dominic goes to London will he learn that her brother instructed her to poison him after the wedding?  And if so, will he trust her?  Or will the bond between Brooke and Dominic only intensify the hatred between the two families?  Read Make Me Love You and find out.

My favorite part of this novels is when Brooke urges Dominic to marry her to preserve his title and tells him to take a mistress.  She wants him to take several mistresses, the more the merrier.  And she wants him to buy her a thoroughbred for each one that he takes.  Hmm.  Now I want a husband who will take a lot of mistresses.