Genre: Contemporary

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Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

January 15, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsRocky Mountain Romance by Vivian Arend
on 2014-10-21
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance, Western
Source: the Author
Rocky Mountain Romance (Six Pack Ranch Book 7)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00MS7HIQ2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

~~**From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Vivian Arend.**~~

Second chances are the sweetest—and the hottest.

It took a spectacularly embarrassing break-up to knock Steve Moonshine Coleman off his lazy butt. In the ten months since that night, he’s changed his ways. Now that Melody’s back in town, it’s time for this sweet-talking cowboy to convince her to get back in the saddle with him.

A return to her veterinary position in Rocky Mountain House was always in the cards for Melody Langley. Getting back together with Steve? Never part of the plan. He had lots of potential but zero ambition, and there’s no way she’ll accept anything less than a man who can keep up with her, in and out of bed.

But the new-and-improved cowboy is impossible to resist, so Melody issues a challenge. Three months to prove he’s reformed. Three months of Steve orchestrating one sexual indulgence after another—‪wicked distractions from the old boys’ club Melody faces at work and Steve's growing responsibilities‬.

He’s got one shot to prove with more than words what’s in his heart and soul.

Warning: Fifty percent less angst, twice as much filthy-talking, dirty-daring cowboy. Get ready for a whole lot of make-your-knees-weak wooing from a man intent on proving he’s got what it takes, and the woman ready to push him way past his limits.

I hate that it took me so long to read this book but when I did…  as usual..  I loved it.  Vivian has a way with making you love her cowboys and appreciate the strength that her heroines have.  Both of the characters have vulnerabilities and the way you get to know them as the story progresses makes you cheer louder when they finally get everything together.

Melody is back where she considers home and doing what she loves best, taking care of animals, but she also is back where she had her heart broken.  Well maybe not broken but hurt by someone that meant more to her than he knew or seemed to feel about her.  She’s determined to not let him mean anything to her now so why is she driving in to town via roads that are on his family’s land?  She gets to see him much sooner than she expected and is trying to convince herself that he doesn’t make her want to do all sorts of things with him (which I heartily agree with) but she’s surprised by his more mature behavior.  I liked that she was cautious with him but that she also let him in even as other things were getting crazy.  She’s strong but open to letting things fall where they may and doesn’t tend to let the little things throw her.  I also appreciated that she wasn’t willing to be a doormat but also didn’t immediately fly off the handle at situations she was placed in.  She takes her time and evaluates the situation then tries to take the path that will support change but not offend and allow everyone to save face.  She also is willing to admit to her own shortcomings when push comes to shove and that was appreciated.

Steve admits he was a bit of a child when he and Melody imploded.  He didn’t take things too seriously but now he’s changed and realized that he may have lost the one woman who was/is his world.  He’s not too proud to admit that he made mistakes but he wants a chance to prove he’s not the same boy that she knew.  He’s grown up and is all man now but he’s a man who wants a partner.  He doesn’t want it to be all about him but all about them and what they can build.  He is extremely happy when Melody returns and starts his campaign to get her to give them another chance as soon as he sees her.  What we get to see is a hero that will do all in his power to prove to his heroine that he is it for her.  I loved his family and their “assistance” but mainly that he was willing to listen to those around him to really figure out what Melody needed and wanted from him.  He listens to her but at times it does take a third party to open his eyes to what it could look like to her.  I liked how willing he was to admit to his mistakes and try to fix them by opening his mind up to other opinions but mainly that he listened to her when he was making plans for them.

I hope you will give this series a shot as it has been such a wonderful set of stories centered around a family that truly knows what it means to work, love and enjoy life.

four-half-stars

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One Night of Sin – Elle Kennedy – 4 stars

January 14, 2015 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2015, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Night of Sin – Elle Kennedy – 4 starsOne Night of Sin (Entangled Brazen) by Elle Kennedy
Published by Macmillan on 2014-08-04
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 162
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
One Night of Sin (Entangled Brazen) (After Hours)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00LRXRO4Y" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

A sexy category romance novella from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…Sometimes it’s good to be bad…When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again. As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skyler’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.

To enter the contest associated with the month of Elle Kennedy Tour go here.

I have to start this with…  Can I have a Gage for my very own????  He’s yummy even as he tries to portray himself as a cold asshole.

Skyler is the classic good girl who has always tried to be the good girl but man oh man is she not really one.  She’s good from the outside the bedroom perspective and likes to live a clean life but when she finds someone that makes her motor run as hot as Gage does she finds out that she really needs a bad boy to get to her true self.  I liked her being open to exploring her wilder side with Gage but I really liked that she saw thru to the real man under the grumpy exterior and was willing to fight for him even as they had issues.  Her issues with her stepfather were realistic in many respects and I appreciated when she finally opened her eyes and heart to what he wanted and who he really was.  She’s a good match for Gage and I was happy to see them bring out the best in one another.

Now Gage is what I really liked in this story.  Mind you I liked his naughty, naughty ways but his heart was what made me happy.  He’s a great guy in a bad situation and seeing him just want to do what was right in order to protect his family was wonderful although you wanted to slap him for taking so much abuse because of a weak brother.  I think that his brother finally had grown up by the time we met him in this story but the damage he caused was already done and to be honest a bit unforgivable.  I also appreciated that we got to see Gage called to the carpet by the men who know him best.  He deserved to have his eyes opened but I think what made me happiest was seeing this gruff man fall hard for the woman who looked sweet but has a spine of steel to stand up to his domineering ways.

The story is hot as hell with sweet moments and a hero that will make you swoon.  He has some major moves on him…  *snicker*

 

 

 

four-stars

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Ahead in the Heat – Lorelie Brown – 4 stars

January 6, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent, Signet Eclipse 0

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ahead in the Heat – Lorelie Brown – 4 starsAhead in the Heat by Lorelie Brown
Published by Penguin on 2015-01-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Ahead in the Heat: A Pacific Blue Novel<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00KWFZ8DW" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Sean Westin finds himself on the beaches of San Sebastian as he recovers from a bad break. But he’ll need more than sand and swells to heal his heart....The surfing World Championship Tour is under way, and Sean Westin is desperate to make his mark—until a stupid display of machismo in Bali leaves his shoulder busted. He has six weeks to get back on the waves or he may be looking at the end of his career.Annie Baxter is the best physical therapist in the business, and she knows it. After almost joining the pro circuit herself, she’s wary of working with big stars and their huge egos. But Sean is making her an incredible offer—full funding for her after-school skate center for underprivileged kids—and she’s finding him hard to resist....As intense therapy sessions turn into passionate intimacy, Sean unleashes a wild side of Annie that she’s suppressed for years. Only, Sean’s keeping secrets, and when his hidden history comes to the surface, everything—even Annie—might get torn away.

I really enjoyed reading more about the surfing world and the characters that inhabit it per Lorelie’s imagination.  There is something interesting about seeing a bit of the behind the scenes action that takes place on tour but mainly I enjoyed the heat between our main pair.  I look forward to more of this series and hopefully will also see more of the people we’ve seen thus far including hoping Nate gets someone for him that isn’t a total…

Annie once had a dream of becoming a professional surfer but due to an incident in her past she turned sour on not only the industry but surfing in general.  She now devotes her time and energy to her physical therapy business with a side of helping at-risk teenagers.  She’s driven but incredibly lonely and locked within herself but when she meets Sean she finds she wants something more.  She turns him down as a client until he makes an offer she cannot refuse but as she spends time with him she realizes that she can’t be his doctor but needs to see where the chemistry they share goes.  I liked her strength but mainly I enjoyed her intuition when it came to seeing behind the walls that Sean has built around his life.  She has her own issues that need to be worked out but she at least tries to be honest with herself and him even as she fights her own internal battle.

Sean was something else.  He may show the world that he’s a carefree playboy but in reality he’s a strong man who overcame a horrible childhood.  The scars of his childhood still haunt him and watching him struggle to keep them hidden from the world and Annie was painful.  He’s desperate to get back in the game after an injury but finds himself unable to keep Annie at a distance.  His drive to succeed is legendary but he still has a massive stressors as someone is digging in to the past he desperately wants to keep hidden.  I enjoyed his strength but mainly loved his heart in the ways he tried so hard to do what he needed to do in order to keep Annie happy.  Now mind you… he messes up…  so does she..  but both of them really just wanted to make the other one happy which made it a bit more palatable.

Overall a story with a nice amount of heat and a real dose of heart that will make you happy as they find one another to be exactly what they always needed.

four-stars

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You Really Got Me – Erika Kelly – 4.5 Stars

January 2, 2015 Penguin, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You Really Got Me – Erika Kelly – 4.5 StarsYou Really Got Me by Erika Kelly
Published by Penguin on 2015-01-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The first irresistible novel in a hot new series about a rock star on his way up—and the woman he wants to take all the way... Emmie Valencia has what it takes to be the music industry’s hottest band manager. She just needs to prove it. Determined to discover a killer new band, Emmie is ready to make her move. First stop: Austin, Texas. As a sizzling-hot lead singer, Slater Vaughn has no trouble raising heart rates—but his band’s been flat-lining for years. When Emmie, his bandmate’s sister, crashes with them in exchange for some free management, her industry know-how lands them a spot in the biggest music festival in Texas. But it isn’t just her business acumen that catches Slater’s attention. Emmie is sexy and warm, and—for the first time in his life—he wants more. But as irresistible as Slater is, Emmie is done with musicians. In her experience, a man can’t be a rock star and someone to trust with your heart—but Slater is determined to show her he’s both.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  I know I requested it because the premise sounded interesting but the depth that Ms. Kelly brought to this book with both the characters and the inner workings of the music industry was more that I had expected.

We get to meet our heroine Emmie at a crossroads in her life.  She has been working as the personal assistant for one of the premiere A/R guys in the music business but that isn’t where she thinks she belongs.  You see she wants to be an A/R guy (gal) and after being made aware of her boss not really planning on promoting her to that job she decides that enough is enough.  She embarks on a quest to prove she has the chops and goes to stay with her brother in Austin TX in order to help him out and find the next great thing.  While there she finds out that maybe just maybe she might have found love with the absolute (in her mind) worst fit for her.  She’s driven and very loyal to her brother but what I liked most was her fears were understandable and while I wanted to hurt her for her lack of trust in what they were feeling  I couldn’t blame her for how long it took her to realize she was wrong.  She owns her fears and concerns which is rare but even rarer that I didn’t find it overwhelmingly annoying.  The work that she undertakes in order to find herself was painful but felt fairly real in pace.  The chemistry she shares with Slater leaps off the page and you can’t help but want these two to finally admit what they need and want to one another.

Slater…. *sigh* …  He’s got his own issues but I loved how he works so hard to not seem interested in his bandmate’s sister.  He tries so hard to keep her at an arm’s distance but he can’t help but be drawn to someone that sees him and not just the rock star.  As they spend more and more time around one another they both find many things in common and ways that help both of them heal from damages inflicted by their childhood.  I loved his heart and how you got to see his talent shine thru the eyes of others.  He has a depth to him that I think was part of my favorite surprise to this story.  His embarrassment when she discovers how much work he actually does put in to the writing and composing was priceless.  I also understood his decision to make it up to her as to where they went from the ultimate angst moment in the story was also very well done.

Overall this was a very pleasant read with a hero that will make you wish you were Emmie.  There is something to be said about a man who really falls head over heels for his woman and isn’t afraid to let her see how much he truly needs her.

Thanks to the team at Penguin for giving me a chance to read this…  Ummmmm when can I have book 2?????

four-half-stars

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Revenant – Larissa Ione – 5 stars

December 16, 2014 Grand Central, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Revenant – Larissa Ione – 5 starsRevenant by Larissa Ione
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2014-12-16
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

HELL HATH NO FURY . . .

For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme-a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

LIKE AN ANGEL SCORNED

Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she's the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there's no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won't find her . . .

YES!!!! My wish that a certain Archangel gets what he damn well deserves has been fulfilled although I must be honest and admit that I could’ve dealt with seeing a bit more of what is going to completely happen to him.  This was a wonderful story of a hero that isn’t 100% sure of his place and a heroine that has always been in hiding living a life that really isn’t hers.

I loved how we got to see both our beloved Reaver and Harvester in this book but it was definitely about Revenant and his beloved Blaspheme.  These two are so strong that you can’t help but love when they start to let down their walls with each other.  They both have issues from childhood and knowing where they belong as both of them have known nothing but fear and pain in the years that formed them.

Blaspheme has lived her entire life afraid that if anyone ever found out what she truly was that she’d be hunted and killed.  She’s understandably upset when Revenant starts to notice her and while she finds she’s drawn to him she knows it can go nowhere.  She’s got a lot of heart and loves her job at Underworld General but she’s always on guard and as her spell starts to wear off she is forced to start to deal with what to do now.  She’s also put in the position to potentially do something about Gethel but at her core she isn’t a warrior who can kill but a healer who wants nothing more than to help those in need.  I loved how she let people in even as it meant that she could be betrayed at any second.  She truly wants to belong even as she knows that her secret not only is her death warrant but it could kill those closest to her.

Revenant… nummy nummy Revenant.  I adored this cocky, broken soul even as I wanted to slap him for being such an ass.  He’s something else and as you get to know more about him you will want nothing more than to cuddle and protect him (well and ummmmmm  spend some quality time getting to know him in a “biblical” fashion *heh*) as he wasn’t given the best upbringing in the world.  He’s at his core a good man and seeing him realize this with the help of Blaspheme was wonderful.  He really did get the short end of the stick in many ways but as he discovers he got something his brother didn’t, time with their mother even as painful as it was.

This story was not an easy one and you really do need to have the backstory to fully appreciate it but I adored seeing everyone again even in the midst of this drama.  There is something about seeing the love story develop but also seeing the relationship between a family start to click in place that makes me very happy.  Revenant and Reaver may not ever be completely able to not fight each other but there is a bonding that happens in this book that makes it distinctly less volatile and healthier.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Grand Central Publishing for the chance to read this book.

five-stars

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The Masseuse – Sierra Kincade – 3 stars

December 10, 2014 NetGalley, Penguin, Read in 2014 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Masseuse – Sierra Kincade – 3 starsThe Masseuse by Sierra Kincade
Published by Penguin on 2014-12-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
three-stars

First in the sexy and suspenseful Body Work Trilogy

Anna Rossi lives by one simple rule: don’t get attached, don’t get hurt. But Alec Flynn doesn’t play by the rules...Anna never takes on a massage client without screening him first, but the paycheck offered by billionaire Maxim Stein is too good to turn down. Stein is the richest man she’s ever laid her hands on, and despite the risks, she trusts that she can take care of herself. After all, she’s handled difficult clients in the past. What she isn’t prepared for is getting caught in a compromising situation by Maxim’s tall, dark, and gorgeous bodyguard—or the desperate desires he awakens in her...Alec is dangerous. The mysterious, hard-bodied man is completely irresistible and won’t be refused, no matter what walls Anna puts up to protect herself. But as Anna falls fast for his careful ministrations and mind-blowing skills, she begins to realize that giving herself over to a man with so many secrets isn’t just putting her heart at risk—it’s endangering her life...

I struggled with how to rate this and review it.  There are a few issues that I had with this book but in the end I did enjoy the read and will want to see what happens to Anna and Alec in the future.

Anna is bending the rules she has regarding meeting a new massage client.  She bends these rules because of the money that it entails and her need to see her dad.  No the rule she is bending isn’t one that involves sleeping with a client but is more a safety issue with requiring a visit at the spa before she will do a home visit.  She ends up getting there really early so is sitting in her car out on the street in a very upper class neighborhood when she meets a man she’d love to sink her teeth in.  As she discovers this man will end up meaning more to her than she ever expected but is he worth it?  I liked her but I think some of my major problems were due to how she comes across.  She’s supposedly a cop’s daughter and big on safety but she lets Alec in way too easily and is way too willing to put aside getting to know him in favor of being with him.  I also didn’t like that she would run away from town the second trouble hits between them instead of finally growing up and putting down roots somewhere.  I get that she has issues remaining from childhood but she ended up with a family that really was there for her and to continue to hang on to the hurt just didn’t completely ring true to me.  I enjoyed her BFF and how she really did provide a grounding influence on Anna.  She really helped Anna realize that some times you need to just let the crap go and make a stand.

Alec… I adored Alec or what we saw of him.  I at times was frustrated with his lack of communication with Anna but when you finally got his story and what was going on it made sense even as it frustrated you.  He’s growly and possessive but it worked for me even as it wouldn’t in real life.  He’s almost stalkery but again when you get the full story it made sense even as it set off alarm bells in my head.  He’s also extremely vulnerable to Anna and even as he tries to push her away he is also wanting to keep her as HIS.  I felt for him as we found out more about his childhood and melted when we got to see him with his dad and Anna’s father.  He’s a good man who made some mistakes but is honestly at his core just a wounded man wanting to have something real and normal.

 

There are definitely times when I was frustrated while reading but overall I did like the main pair which is why I will grab book 2 when it comes out.

three-stars

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Razed – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 stars

December 8, 2014 NetGalley, Penguin, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Razed – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 starsRazed by Shiloh Walker
Published by Penguin on 2014-12-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley.com
Razed<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JJXTOP6" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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four-half-stars

Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options... Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness. As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother's wedding have him thinking maybe there's a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist...for her.

*happy sigh*

Yes I adored this one…  I loved how much Zane desired the real Keelie and how much Keelie needed Zane even as she tried to hide it.

Keelie is reeling from realizing that she had been mistaken about her feelings for Zach, her business partner and friend, but mainly trying to figure out how to heal what her actions did to them.  She’s shocked when the man who has been the bane of her existence (not really but…) suddenly begins to appear like the man she thought she’d never find.  When he physically touches her she realizes she’s in trouble and when he kisses her…  well…  all bets are off.  She does what she’s good at though and works hard to deny what she feels for him even as things begin to crumble around her.  Her past is catching up with her and this time she can only hope to survive it or maybe she can finally put the demons to rest by facing up to things that she couldn’t control then.  I loved her strength and once she finally made a decision how she took control of what she needed to do but didn’t like her not always including Zane.  I understood it, I really did but a part of me had wished that she would have let him in a bit more.  She’s a hard one to get to understand as she’s great at putting up walls but I did love her loyalty to those she loves and what she was willing to do to make things right even though nothing was her fault.

Zane was just *sigh*  He’s so willing to go to the bat for Keelie but he’s also aware enough to know that even as she pulls away from him that it isn’t 100% about him.  He was so patient with her need to stand on her own to fight this battle that I couldn’t help but love him.  He’s always appeared to be the one that just settles and deals with things but in reality he’s just a very patient man who wants to get his ducks in a row before he makes his move.  He’s known for years that she was the one for him but now he’s tired of waiting for his moment and decides to go for it.  I loved his story and how much he’s done for others that people aren’t aware of.  I hope Shiloh writes about him telling his mom about his secret…  That will be a fun moment *winces* as he is soooooo going to get grief.  Overall he’s a great guy who wants nothing more than to have his Keelie be happy, healthy and his.

 

This is not a pretty story in many ways because of the topics it hits on but I enjoy that Shiloh doesn’t run away from tough material.  She builds strong heroes and heroines with stories that aren’t perfect but in many ways shed light on things that many people are lucky enough to never experience.  As someone who lived through some things that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else and yet still didn’t live a life that was as horrible as many others have had to deal with I love these sorts of tales.  Zane and Keelie are definitely a perfect match for one another and hopefully you’ll go check them out as well.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Penguin for providing me a copy of this to read in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-half-stars

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Broken – Laura Wright – 4 stars

October 7, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 1

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Broken – Laura Wright – 4 starsBroken by Laura Wright
Published by Penguin on 2014-10-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Western
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder... For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls... Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Refusing to allow her heard to led her to disaster, she chooses to focus solely on work. But after Sheridan is rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her vow to keep her heart penned wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed....

I loved this story of a man who has convinced himself that he doesn’t deserve to have love and a woman who has convinced herself that opening herself to a relationship would be akin to disaster.

Sheridan is lonely…  she chooses to keep herself at a distance from relationships of any kind because of watching the destruction that was her parent’s marriage.  She’s smart but she just has so many walls up at the beginning of this story you aren’t sure if they will ever come down.  As she starts to open up to having friendships we get to see a woman that is very wounded and passionate who needs someone to cherish this with all of his heart.  I loved seeing her build friendships and let people get close to her outside of the office.  I also loved that when she decided to take what she wanted she went full in.  There are no partial measures with her when it comes to James and I found that I loved that.  She also wasn’t willing to settle for nothing less than everything from him and even though it killed me to see her do what she did it was the right choice.  She deserved everything from her partner and it took a very strong will to not be willing to take anything less.

James… *fans self*…  he’s definitely easy on the eyes and when he lets himself have what he “knows” isn’t for him you see a man that loves deeply but is still so haunted by his past that he almost loses the one thing that means everything.  He’s a good man struggling with a massive load of guilt from his sister’s death and an incident with an ex that he doesn’t believe he deserves love.  He is so afraid of losing another person he loves or them being hurt because of him that he pushes everything away.  He’s got a lot of heart and dear lord is the man sexy as hell when he gives in to what he wants.  I loved his sense of right and wrong even as I wanted to slap him for keeping people at a distance.  When he finally lets people in we get to see what most of us would love to have..  a man that is devoted to his partner and his family.

I liked seeing more of what happened in the family’s past and am looking forward to finding out who killed their sister.  I think this family deserves that closure after the hell they lived thru after the murder.

Special thanks to the team at Signet Eclipse for letting me have this book early.  I am ready for Cole’s story now..

four-stars

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Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

October 6, 2014 NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 starsSweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-30
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

CAN’T FORGET THE PAINIt took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURENothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.

I’m loving this series so much and this entry has an amazing balance of suspense and romance.  I loved the fact that we have two people who really have always felt something for one another even though one of them wasn’t really aware of what the other one meant to them even back then.

Adam has buried himself in alcohol and women to dull the pain of not being there for the woman who meant everything to him when she needed him.  As his town starts to unbury the past he is forced to recall the horrifying details of what happened that long ago night and is confronted with someone that he never expected.  I loved how damaged he is and how aware of his own weaknesses but still making the effort to not slip back to addiction.  He’s so strong but shows such a weakness when it comes to his heroine.  I loved watching him work so hard to stay within boundaries with her and truly respect her even as he wants to get the answers he so desperately needs.  His need for her leaps from the pages and you’ll probably want him for your very own….  I have to admit to sighing a few times as his need shines thru.

The one thing I am not going to do is give the heroine completely away.  Her journey is part of the story I wouldn’t trade because as you see her work thru her issues you get to see how much she needs Adam.  She’s got so much guilt and so many secrets that you want to help her but know that she needs to do this by her own terms otherwise she won’t be able to move forward.  She’s very strong and my hope is Shiloh will give us more time with her as she gets on with the life that has been in limbo for so long.  She’s got a strong soul and it shines as it lets go of the secrets and embraces a future with a man that is everything to her.

The story told about this town is not a pretty one or an easy one to read.  As someone who has lived with an abuser as a child it hit me a bit harder than some but I loved that Shiloh went there.  I think while it is something that is disquieting and honestly disgusting in nature it is something that happens every day all over the world.  Only by bringing stories to the public, even fictional in nature, it hopefully will make some people do more research to see what they can do to help victims of these horrible crimes and also bring those perpetrators to justice.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-stars

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Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 Stars

September 16, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 StarsAfternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-16
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 110
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

“Anne Calhoun’s romances define the erotic”* and now the national bestselling author of Uncommon Passion serves up a delicious new novella of savory food and hungry men—and one woman’s challenge to get creative with each...

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he's avoided.

Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah....

INCLUDES A BONUS EXCERPT OF ANNE CALHOUN’S THE LIST, AVAILABLE IN 2015 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PRINT

Praise for Anne Calhoun

“Anne Calhoun...tugs at your heart.”—Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

“Uncommonly good storytelling.”—Beth Kery, New York Times bestselling author

“Scintillating sexual chemistry.”—Lauren Dane, New York Times bestselling author *Alison Kent

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne Calhoun, national bestselling author of numerous novels including Jaded, Unforgiven, and Uncommon Pleasure, landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and singlehandedly supports her local Starbucks.

This is a very quick read but an amazing journey thru New York and food.  Oh and it doesn’t hurt that it is also very very sexy!

Tim approaches everything as yet another task to get thru.  He works quickly and does everything in a frenzy.  His reasons for living this way are made apparent but when he meets Sarah he is surprised how easy it is to just be with her.  He actually starts to live in the moment and slow down to savor things as he spends more time with a woman that captivates him with her ways and makes him crazy in the bedroom.  I enjoyed seeing him brought to his senses and really start to live again after so much time just surviving.  He was sexy as hell but seeing him take the time to show her something new and finally appreciate things around him was my favorite part of this read.

Sarah is intrigued by the man who seems to be going at life like it is something to be sped thru with no appreciation for the gift it really is.  She’s experienced the heartbreak of watching someone she loved die from cancer and this has made her much more appreciative of everything it has to offer.  She savors experiences but is much more mellow than she was before this tragedy.  It isn’t that she isn’t willing to live life it is that she needed time to grieve and now she finds that she wants this compelling man.  She isn’t asking for anything more than time with him and while their time together includes moments of sexual heat there was a huge sense of something bigger that just needs time to firm up.

I appreciated that this story doesn’t have the whole insta-love thing that happens in a lot of shorter reads but that you get a sense that while the words might not be there yet they are definitely on their way.  These two will be a pair that will be long-term and I hope that Anne will show us more of them in future stories.  I loved the pair of them and what they really gave each other that meant more than 3 little words.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful team at Penguin that gave me access to this title in exchange for my honest opinion.  Lovely story with a bit of heat but mainly the heart and views of New York made it beautiful.

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