Posted in fiction, jane austen, love, relationships, romance

Review: Fury on Fire

fury-on-fireThe story of a redeemable man with a tragic past is a common theme in romantic novels.  But in Fury on FireSophie Jordan is particularly bold to bring together ex-convict together with a goodie-goodie who bakes scones for her neighbor.  Of course, North Callahan, the ex-convict, is a particularly sexy ex-convinct.

Faith is ready for some adventure.  She works full time, then comes home and cooks for her father and brothers.  But she doesn’t have a social life.  So she carefully saves up her money and buys a starter home – a duplex with a hot neighbor (that part was unplanned).  She throws herself into the task of organizing and cooking when she notices that her neighbor is particularly good looking and imagines a commitment-free (yeah, right — women just don’t think this way) tangle with him.

However, he is determined to avoid her, the rude little bastard that he is, and she ends up delivering the scones to a female friend (with benefits) of his.

The louder North and his lady friends are, the more Faith begins having sex fantasies about him.  I always find this to be a weird part of rom coms  and romance novels.  Chocolates, gifts, men who do chores for me are attractive.  The idea of a woman being attracted to a man’s body just for his body or fantasizing about sex seems foreign to me.

He in turn fantasizes about her but continues to ignore her until his lady friend shows up drunk.  He comes over to straighten things out and they ogle each other, turning him off to strange, drunk women.

Faith looks into him. No more miss nice girl.  No more notes. No more being ignored.  Not after an ogle-fest like that.  Her father is the Sheriff so she uses her connects to find out about his very ugly rap sheet.  He is a convicted murderer.

Will a little thing like being a convicted murder (not even wrongfully accused – this author is bold) stand in the way of their love?  Or will she settle down for nice-guy Brendan Cooper.  After all, Brendan has an Audi.  Will her brother’s protective instincts prevent Faith and Nathan from getting together?  Will their fantasies turn into reality?  Can North move beyond the past?  Can Faith’s family?  Will the insecurity and unworthiness get in the way?  Read Fury on Fire and find out.

Posted in books, relationships, women

Review: Breathless

breathless-beverly-jenkinsRomance on the frontier is breathless with danger and Beverly Jenkins‘s Breathless definitely brings the old West adventure to her romance.

Portia Carmichael will not be getting married to just any man.  Her mother fell in love with a man who sent her daughters packing, and Portia was raised by her Uncle Rhine and Aunt Eddy.  And the love that Uncle Rhine and Aunt Eddy share is rare and true.

But it’s not without it’s dangers.  Soon after moving in with their aunt uncle, they find themselves fleeing town in the night crouched in a wagon because Uncle Rhine pretended to be white.

They end up running a dude ranch in Arizona — true West stuff.  Then, a face from the past shows up —  Kent Randolph is looking for a job.  He’s had an adventurous fifteen years that includes seducing women and spending time in a Mexican prison and working in San Francisco.

If Kent is wild and adventurous, Portia is stable and ambitious.  She manages the hotel, the guests, and the books.  And no amount of passion will get in the way of that.  As Kent spends more time with them, he renders her mindless.  Is Kent here to stay or is he just passing buy?  Is he a distraction from the family business or is he here to stay and help them manage things?  Will Portia be able to hold down the family business in the face of arson and Apache raids?  Read Breathless and find out.

 

 

 

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

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.

Posted in books, fiction, love, relationships

Review: Deception Island

deception-islandWhen 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.

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

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.

 

 

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

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.

 

 

Posted in books, dating, fiction, relationships

Review: The Undoing

the-undoingJace has an anger management problem.  Her rage is unpredictable and out of control. Maybe it’s because her husband killed her.  Or, maybe it’s because she’s a Berserker Crow – her rage is useful in battle.

And you thought your romantic life was complicated.

In Shelly Laurenston‘s The Undoing, the Crows are a clandestine group of people brought back from the dead to serve Viking deities.  The have a tentative truce with the Protectors – another clandestine clan who was originally created to destroy all of the world’s Crows.  Now then have a semi-truce as they both hunt for artifacts that have been lost or stolen from the Nordic deities.  When the Protectors need a Russian translator to help with their library collection, Ski is forced to ask Jace for help.  She refuses, of course.

But when the Crows ask her to find a job – and maybe find a way to control her rage, she reconsiders.  Will Jace find romance with the peaceful Ski?  Will they be able to stop a vengeful deity hellbent on destroying the world?  And can Jace save the Crows from the Carrion?  Is there a salve for rotting flesh?

And most importantly, can a woman who has been killed once by a former husband find love?  Read The Undoing and find out.

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

Review: One More Kiss

one-more-kissRun away, ladies.  Matt Reed is big time trouble.  You can tell by the picture on the book jacket for Samantha Chase‘s  One More Kiss.  Sure he looks innocent enough with his guitar.  But musicians never are.  They bring the kind of drama and craziness that is okay in a romance novel.  So enjoy the book and then go find yourself a nice, stable, steady guy.

Dating tip: Don’t date a rock star.  Enjoy the book and go find yourself a nice, stable, steady guy.

Matt Reed’s career is in the toilet.  He’s being hounded by the press and embarrassed about his big Broadway flop.  He a broken man with nowhere to go to put himself back together again.  After all, how can he do that when the paparazzi are everywhere.  So when his childhood best friend, Aaron Forrester, invites him to stay on his secluded North Carolina estate, he jumps at the chance to hide out there.  The one problem is that his best friend’s sister, Vivienne, is so hot she might be a distraction.

So when childhood best friend, Aaron Forrester, invites him to stay on his secluded North Carolina estate, he jumps at the chance to hide out there.  The one problem is that his best friend’s sister, Vivienne, is so hot she might be a distraction.

Worse: two years ago Matt Reed kissed his best friend’s sister Vivienne backstage at one of his concerts in a drunken haze.  He doesn’t remember the moment.  The tension between them is high.  Will Vivienne forgive him for forgetting that night?  Will Matt be able to clean up his life?  Will Vivienne’s cooking lessons be his salvation? Dating tip: doing chores together is true love.  And what is Vivienne’s secret ingredient?  And if he and Vivienne do hook up, how will Aaron react?  Read One More Kiss and find out. Seriously.  Read the book and you’ll will learn the secret Vivienne’s magnificent cooking.  The book has recipes.  How cool is that?

PS – do you bond with your mate over cooking?  Feel free to leave recipes in the comments below.

 

 

 

Posted in jane austen, love, relationships, romance, women

Review: Strawberry Wine

strawberry-wine“There’s something about first love that tends to stick with a person, even years afterward.” When it comes to romance novels and chick flicks, first love and reminiscence of the one who got away are such common themes that it’s tough to pull off.  The characters have to be really loveable and relateable to keep the reader turning the page.To her credit,

To her credit, Darly Jamison does just this in Strawberry Wine – a romance novel that will leave you feeling a little teary and nostalgic.

Addison Granger is engaged to a man who looks good on paper  (ie a doctor) but there are warning signs that things aren’t all that they seem to be.  For one thing, he has yet to meet her close-knit family.  She looks forward to one day inheriting her family farm and has strong memories growing up in a rural area – an idea that he seems far from delighted with.

And then there is the question of Addie’s first love.  Is the memory of her first love holding her back and keeping her from finding a good relationship?  When she unexpectedly runs into him will sparks and passion fly?  Or will this be the moment when she can finally move forward with her life?  Read Strawberry Wine and find out.

Dating advice: make you sure sort these things out before your engagement (Start exploring these issues on the second date.  Not joking!).  Dating is due diligence and if you don’t have the same goals, your relationship won’t work no matter how romantic, how passionate, how loving.