Posts Categorized: NetGalley

The Valmont Contingency – Val Roberts – 3 stars

October 7, 2012 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2012 0

Tasha has always played the part she was expected to even at the expense of her own self-image.  She plays the part of the Ice Princess to perfection with the makeup and bearing of a geisha.  It was heartbreaking to learn that she has never had love from her father and stepmother but instead is just used as a pawn to get them in to the cartels.  Luckily she was strong enough to pursue a degree in medical so when she finally runs she has something she can support herself with.  She runs straight in to being a stowaway on a ship that gets stopped by a “pirate” ship captained by Garrick.  She ends up finding the truth out about her family and herself while also finding the love and acceptance she never thought she would.

Garrick was one sexy man.  He’s not looking for anything other than a good time and trust me to him spending an evening playing nice for his father and entertaining the idea of marriage based on political/business gain is not his idea of fun or a life.  He’s very smart and when he meets Tasha he falls head over heels for this strong woman.  Their times together are sexy and yet you sense the true feelings behind the words every time they fight and make up.  I loved seeing him figure out what she needed and be willing to compromise what he thought they should be to make it what they needed it to be.

I enjoyed this and hope to see more set in this world as I liked the rest of the crew and of course I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Garrick and Tasha.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

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Mark of the Witch – Maggie Shayne – 4 stars

October 4, 2012 Harlequin, NetGalley 2

What would you do if you woke up after a weird dream of being thrown off a cliff to rope burns on your wrists?  I think most of us would freak out and probably go babble in a corner but our heroine in this book comes out scared but swinging…

 

Indira is a lapsed Wiccan.  She doesn’t completely buy in to all the Goddess worship or want to be blindly devoted to something just based on trust..  she needs proof.  She’s been hurt before and not had the greatest childhood or life but you get the sense from her that she craves affection and family..  the whole sense of belonging.  She’s blindsided by the dreams she is having and even more blindsided by the instant attraction to Tomas.  She’s known him in the past and this is the man who loved her but was willing to sacrifice her in the name of religion.  While she is vulnerable in this book she is also willing to kick ass even at the expense of herself.  She goes though a lot in this book but when she accepts her destiny you see a woman who has finally figured out not only who she is but what her place in the world is. 

 

Tomas…  sigh..  Tomas..  yummy yummy yummy.  Our first glimpse of him is a man at a crossroads.  He doesn’t believe in his calling to the priesthood any more but at the same time isn’t sure what path he should be on.  He’s also at a crossroads and is very conflicted with his destiny and path in life.  He was an interesting man to get to know and his struggles with the instant attraction and soul-deep yearning for Indy were intriguing to read.  I loved that while he craved her he also was aware enough to wonder is this real or what exactly is it before he acted on it.  That he also was willing to sacrifice everything to keep her safe was heartwarming but I loved how much he let her work through things with just silent support and strength.  Yes he did try to convince her that the insane priest was right but once his heart and mind started to work together he supported her even if it meant turning his back on what he thought he knew. 

 

I loved them together and hope that you will give this book a chance.  Strong characters…  Past loves reunited and insane priests all make for a fun read and I cannot wait for the next one..

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin Mira for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

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Shades of Temptation – Virna DePaul – 4 Stars

September 26, 2012 NetGalley 0

Shades of Temptation (SIG, #2)

While this is book 2 in a series I did not have any issues reading this as a stand-alone.  I am definitely going back and grabbing book 1 and will get my greedy little hands on more of this series as it comes out.

Carrie is a cop..  She doesn’t let her feminine side out to play other than tooccasionally scratch an itch but that hasn’t happened in 6 years.  She’s deeply lonely but isn’t willing to let down her guard enough to let someone else in no matter how much she just craves affection.  I really felt for her working in a traditionally man’s field (at the level she was at) and feeling like she had to put these extreme walls up to keep people from seeing the human inside.  She’s done relationships but invariably the men she was with tried to prove how much man they were by becoming controlling and in one case raping her.  I loved her strength but when she finally gave in to her cravings for Jase, I then really loved her cracking and showing the woman underneath to a man who would cherish it.

Jase….  sigh…  Jase..  man oh man what a sexy, caring man hiding behind a playboy exterior you happened to be.  He’s craved Carrie like no other woman but due to his own issues never pursued her.  Sure he wants to scratch an itch and maybe get this craving purged but when she finally lets him get close and they give in to the attraction…  he’s a goner.  She’s such a strong woman and pushes him to prove himself but he craves this.  He’s got major issues to work thru on his own but I loved how he pushed her to let go but at the same time let her lead.  He gave up his control to give her the freedom to finally let him in and in doing so gained a wonderful partner.  

I have to say the murders and such were interesting even though the reader knows who the killers are we still are drawn to how the main pair figures it out and works thru the case.  I loved the SIG team and cannot wait for more stories to come out.  I also appreciated that while you get that there is an HEA with the main pair they don’t immediately resolve everything.  

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for giving me the chance to find this new series in exchange for my honest review. 

Shades of Temptation – Virna DePaul – 4 stars

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The Accidental Bride – Christina Skye – 4 stars

September 25, 2012 NetGalley, Read in 2012 0

The Accidental Bride

Even though the romance was very quick the main pair are a lot of fun to watch find their way to each other.  It packs some nice sexual tension and make out scenes but nothing graphic.

Jilly is a great chef.  She’s doing what she loves and has some great friends…  so what else does she really need?  She’s alone but that works for her as she has some issues with her childhood to work thru and doesn’t think that a relationship is ever going to be in the cards for her.  She ends up having a wake up call in the form of a cardiac issue that forces her to step out of the restaurant and relax.  Her friends decide to pull one over on her and send her to a knitting retreat in Wyoming.  She isn’t happy at first but once she starts to spend time there she finds more than she ever thought she could have and more than she ever expected in…

Walker…  ok I loved Walker.  He’s so sigh-worthy and definitely a hero.  He was wounded in action along with his military dog Winslow and is a bit of a recluse until he stumbles upon Jilly.  Winslow immediately falls in love with Jilly and starts to help her heal as well.  Walker starts showing up more and more in town to spend time around Jilly which of course gets tongues wagging in this small town.  Everyone wants him to be happy and if Jilly has gotten this recluse out then Jilly he must have.

Throw in a well-meaning grandson of the resort owner…  a “fake” wedding…  family drama… and a secret…  well then you have this quirky little book.  Granted the main pair fall in love amazingly fast but you’ll love how they get there.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review. 

The Accidental Bride – Christina Skye – 4 stars

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An Outlaw’s Christmas – Linda Lael Miller – 3 Stars

September 25, 2012 NetGalley, Uncategorized 0

An Outlaw's Christmas (McKettricks, #16)

This is my first Linda Lael Miller read and I don’t think it will be my last.  While this one was a very quick read and HEA it was still a good enough read that I will take a look at the back-list in the series.

Sawyer has just arrived in Blue River, TX in the middle of a snowstorm.  He is in town to take over as marshal for his cousin  but ends up with more than he had ever imagined. As he is riding to the hotel he is shot by an unknown assailant and ends up falling off his horse in front of the schoolhouse.  Lucky for him he ends up being found by Piper who brings him in and binds his wound as best she can.  

Piper is a strong woman but in those times it just isn’t proper (no matter how innocent it actually is) for a single woman to share a house with a non-relative male.  She ends up having her reputation tarnished but Sawyer proposes a marriage in order to keep the gossips at bay.  Yeah sure they have only known each other for a few days, most of which he was sleeping and recovering from the gunshot, but hey we are in the world of romance books so all must work out in the end.

I think the reason I liked the romance even in such a short span was that Sawyer didn’t push her to truly do anything Piper didn’t want to.  I  also liked what you saw of Piper and her willingness to do what’s right even at the cost of her reputation in a time where a single woman with no family desperately needed to hold on to it otherwise she could end up jobless and resorting to prostitution to survive.  She’s strong and mouthy which will suit Sawyer and his extended family perfectly in the long run.

This was an enjoyable quick read and I thank NetGalley.com/Harlequin Books for letting me read it in exchange for my honest review. 


An Outlaw’s Christmas – Linda Lael Miller – 3 Stars

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Hunk for the Holidays – Katie Lane – 2.5 stars

September 25, 2012 NetGalley, Uncategorized 0

Hunk for the Holidays

Please suspend belief for the amount of time it takes you to read this and if you do so it isn’t a bad read.  

Cassie is a work-a-holic who is stuck working as an accountant for her family’s construction business when she would rather be getting her hands dirty.  She uses escorts at various social functions rather than letting a man in to her life.  All this changes due to mistaken identity..  and man is he some sexy man meat in a tux…  She lets her hair down at the party and ends up having some amazing sex with the man she thinks is an escort.  In the course of a few short days she ends up with a lot more than she ever bargained for and finally gets out of her shell with both her family and her work.

Josh is just stopping by for a meeting when he is mistaken for Cassie’s escort for the evening.  He is instantly drawn to her and goes along with the charade never giving her his last name.  You see he is the competitor that keeps stealing contracts out from under her family’s construction business.  He’s a good guy and immediately wants more from this wildcat hidden under ice…  I liked what he was willing to do to prove he wanted to be with her and even though it was quick I enjoyed where it went.

I liked the view of her family but to be honest I wish that the author had used a bit more time and made this book a little longer to make the ending believable. 

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Grand Central Publishing for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review. 

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The Angel – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

September 24, 2012 NetGalley, Uncategorized 0

So I went in to this thinking…  “Can she really get me bawling a second time?”…

Answer –
                              HELL YES!!

The Angel takes up not too long after The Siren.  Nora is now back with her Søren and is playing sub to his Master again.

Nora –  In this book she is where she thinks she belongs but her heart still aches for her Wesley.  I will tell you she is still as manipulative as ever but I got the sense she is fundamentally broken at this point.  Søren doesn’t seem to make her 100% happy but she also doesn’t feel that she should speak with Wesley again for his sake.  She’s still kick ass but I sensed a deep sadness from her in that maybe what she thinks is her heart and soul might not be all that after all.  Do I think she and Søren are a match…  Yes…  but at the same time I can’t seem to believe that maybe it isn’t the best of matches for her.  She’s not completely happy but still manages to have some great moments with both Søren and Griffin in this book.  Her moments with Michael were wonderful as in her heart she knows who she is getting him ready for. 


Griffin – He’s a wonderfully wicked man in this book and I enjoyed every minute of his unrepentant ways.  He’s a wonderful person in both heart and action so watching his play with Nora was fun.  He falls deeply for our beautiful boy and to watch him try to stay away but need so badly was painfully beautiful.  I loved seeing why he hated Søren but am glad that the reason played out the way it did.  He is a great protector and the HEA he receives is so deserved that it made me tear up.  They are so made for one another and to know that Søren knew this before anyone else did was amazing.

Michael – Your heart will break then cheer for him in this book.  He’s such a broken soul but under the care of Søren, Nora and Griffin he shines.  He is sent with Nora to train while staying away from press following Søren’s inclusion on a short list to become Bishop.  Nora works with him to not only become the sub he desperately wants to be but also on how to let others in while he shows his true self.  Tiffany made me cry for him as to be treated the way he was by both his mom and dad in this is just horrible but I know this happens all the time in the real world.  I loved seeing him open his heart and mind to others knowing that it was not judged by them but accepted.

Suzanne – The reporter that causes Nora to have to go hide was an interesting side story.  Søren is drawn to her in a way but as always he belongs to Nora and doesn’t let Suzanne completely in.  She’s at a point in her life where nothing is quite there for her in her professional or personal life but at the end of this her interactions with our priest bring her to a point where I feel she is ready to not only make strides in her professional life but..  is also going to open her heart up to her ex who I think will be her HEA ultimately.


Kingsley – I liked seeing more of him in this one and love him.  I also loved seeing that there is a bit of tension between he and Nora which stems from jealousy and maybe will lead to some nasty times in the next book.  He loves Søren and will do anything to protect him even at the sacrifice of his own needs.  I think this will be interesting to watch play out as Juliette might have something to say about his devotion to our Master.  His history with Nora is heartbreaking and I gasped when more of their story came out.


Søren – I will admit I was scared to death of him in the last book but after this one I see where he gets his personality from.  Man oh man is that one fucked up family.  I love him after this book and to be honest my heart broke for him with the way this one ends.  I understand his need for inflicting pain much better after this one and truly see how much he loves Nora.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted her to be with him after The Siren but at the end of this one I just want him to be happy.  I think he loves her more than life itself and understands her more than she truly knows.  He loves with all his being and that is breathtaking to watch.


All in all I loved this book and though in some respects it wasn’t as draining mentally as The Siren it was just as draining emotionally.  I am seriously looking forward to The Prince and wondering what path down the rabbit hole Tiffany is going to take us on in it.

Go grab this one as again it will make you cry, laugh and think about what it truly means to love someone else.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

The Angel – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

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Finally Home – Helen Scott Taylor – 4 stars

September 24, 2012 NetGalley, Uncategorized 0

This is a nice sweet read where you have a true sense that the main pair really are in it for the long haul at the end.

Jack is in trouble…  He’s due to be married in the next couple of days and realizes he doesn’t want to go thru with it.  Put on the spot by his new ex he says that he is in love with the first female name he can come up with…  Melanie.  She’s his manager for his hotel and once he says her name he starts to wonder… hmmmm what if…  He starts to spend more and more time around her and her son which was a lot of fun to see.

Melanie is trying to rebuild her life after a huge tragedy in her past.  She blames herself for what happened and wonders if she could have prevented it.  She’s a wonderful mom but keeps to herself as her secret could cause more pain and destruction for her son.  She’s lonely though and hurting but under Jack’s care comes out of her shell more and more until the past comes back to haunt her.  I was a little frustrated with her but I can understand why she felt the way she did.  I loved how she finally let go and even with the tension you could see what she really wanted even if she fought it.

Nice sweet read and happy that NetGalley.com and Carina Press allowed me to read this in exchange for my honest review.

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Fault Lines – Rebecca Rogers Maher – 4 Stars

September 24, 2012 NetGalley, Uncategorized 1

I’m not going to give away the main part of the issues with the heroine but I will say the treatment the author gives the subject was refreshing as it felt incredibly real.  It hit close to home for me although I didn’t have everything happen to me that she did I personally did feel most of what she did and still occasionally deal with the same issues of trust and nightmares.
Sarah has issues with control and uses sex as a way to keep men at an emotional distance.  She doesn’t do relationships or any real connections other than to her best friend.  I liked her and as you get to know her secrets you will feel for her and hope she gets some true happiness.  She’s driven and really just wants to be honest but is convinced that what happened to her was her fault…  trust me it isn’t but there are times when I felt that way as well.  I’m proud of the journey she took in this book and even happier the author didn’t completely whitewash the subject.
Joe…what an incredible man he is.  He’s a recovering alcoholic and brilliant photographer that sees beyond the masks we all present to the world.  He has his own demons that are faced in this book and seeing him make steps in his own way was heartwarming.  He’s a great great sexy man and even though we don’t see much of the two of them together what we do see is beautiful.  I’m so happy that he was such a patient person with her and I beleive what they build will be an incredible life.
Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for bringing this to my attention and allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review.
One note…  Please do not go in to this without understanding it deals with some difficult topics but..  I cannot say this enough…  These topics deserve to be talked about with honesty no matter how uncomfortable they can make some people. 


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Blue Nebula – Diane Dooley – 3 stars

September 24, 2012 NetGalley, Uncategorized 0

This was a decent read but I think I need to go back and read the first one.  

Sola has had a ton of enhancements done to her by her dictator father.  She’s married to Javan and it turns out she’s pregnant.  She doesn’t quite know how to handle this news as she plans on going to Earth to kill her father even though it will be extremely dangerous mission.  Her husband desperately wants to keep her and the baby safe but Sola is determined to do what is best for Earth even if that means losing Javan.  

Javan seemed to be a good man stuck in a relationship where he wasn’t kept in the loop about everything.  He doesn’t like her lies but that is all she has known since she was a child.  I liked what I saw of Javan but in this read he wasn’t there much.

I think the pair was a good fit for one another once the truths all came out but Sola is not a sympathetic or warm heroine.  Understandable with her upbringing but made it a bit difficult to get completely warmed up to the relationship.

I’m planning on reading the first story to see if it helps with my thoughts of her but it wasn’t a bad read as is.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

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