Genre: Contemporary

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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
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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
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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
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“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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Hard To Hold On To – Laura Kaye – 4.5 Stars – Sponsored Contest

September 4, 2014 Contest, Read in 2014, Tours 2

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

Hard To Hold On To – Laura Kaye – 4.5 Stars – Sponsored ContestHard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-08-19
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 200
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

Buy at Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

 

My thoughts:

I adored this entry in the series because of how much both of our pair have to lose but also how much they have to gain if they give in to what they want.

Jenna has just made it thru an ordeal that no one should ever have to experience.  She’s coming out from under the drugs that her kidnappers gave her and dealing with the nightmare of what happened while in their custody.  She finds herself drawn to a soldier that should be frightening to her but he gives her peace.  As she spends more time around him she finds herself wanting to be more to him than just a friend but is unsure of herself.  She’s felt like such a burden to her sister for so many years so doubts if the connection she feels for him and that he seems to have for her is anything more than an illusion.  I loved her strength and especially adored how much she helped our hero by just being there and not running when he shares his burden.

Easy… my dear sweet, strong soul….  He’s in so much pain all the time since the loss of his best friend but amazingly finds a sense of peace when he is around Jenna.  He’s so convinced that he isn’t the right man for anyone and is struggling with PTSD/depression as a result of the incident that resulted in the death of his friend and others in his unit.  Being kicked out of the military was the final straw and since then he’s just been going thru the motions pretending to live.  You see our Easy has a secret that he’s keeping from his team and that secret is devastating.  I was happy that he found someone who wanted him for him even with his secret.  His struggle is palpable and realistic as you don’t want him to become one of the 22.  He deserves so much happiness and seeing him work so hard to protect Jenna and himself from his demons were amazing.

This story does get under your skin but I appreciate that Laura didn’t whitewash what he was dealing with and I hope that his struggles will result in some additional awareness of the struggles faced by those who witness or are part of violent acts or the stressors of combat.  The struggles result in an unacceptable body count as these people struggle with the demons in their heads and should be treated with all the resources we can muster.  While we can’t save all of them it is unacceptable to not try as 22 is not a count that should be considered an acceptable cost of these actions.

Please take the time to read this wonderful story with a powerful message even with the sparks that fly between our pair.  It is worth it!

 

Special thanks to the team at HarperCollins for giving me access to this title as part of a tour.  I really love this entire series and am looking forward to all of them still to come.  I do have a special request —- Can we get more of Easy and Jenna??????

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-half-stars

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Linger – Lauren Jameson – 5 stars

September 3, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 2

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

Linger – Lauren Jameson – 5 starsLinger by Lauren Jameson
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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five-stars

From the author of Breathe and Blush comes a blisteringly hot new novel about baring it all.... On her last night in Nevada before embarking on a yearlong veterinary internship, Scarlett Malone is celebrating—and looking for one night of incredible pleasure. But the man who draws her eye is not her usual type: He’s a cowboy whose alpha-male tendencies tempt her beyond belief. Scarlett can’t understand why she wants this man and no one else, but she’s determined to entice him to submit.... Dr. Logan Brody lives an isolated life in rural Montana, running a ranch and suppressing his submissive tendencies. Only on his occasional trips does he give into his hidden urges. He can’t deny his scorching attraction to Scarlett or that she makes him want more, but he never lets anyone break him down fully. He’s hers for one night and one night only. But when Scarlett shows up at Logan’s door as his intern for the year, he realizes that the walls around his heart are about to crumble—and that this sexy dominant woman has no intention of letting him keep control....

This was so much more than I had expected but so worth the ride.

Scarlett is hitting her favorite club one last time before she leaves Vegas for an internship in Montana.  She’s a Domme and will miss the club where she can fulfil her sexual needs but is going to enjoy this one last evening to the fullest.  What she doesn’t expect is to meet her match in a submissive that is her match in every way.  As she feels this intense connection with a man who exudes Alpha until you reach his core that craves submission in the bedroom, she struggles with knowing that this is only a single night.  After their intense scene she tries to forget him until he appears in front of her again as her boss for this internship.  I loved her strength and willingness to push him as they struggle to figure out a balance.  She really epitomizes what a Dominant should be in that while she wants nothing more than to be with him in every way she denies her own sexual need for him in order to push him to open up and let down his walls to her.  She really does want to heal him in more ways than one and to do so has to force him to acknowledge his part in the relationship and be honest with both of them.  Her pain as she has to deny them both what they crave screams from the page but is honestly the only way this would have worked long term.

Logan.. my dear damaged man… he knows at his core he needs to be mastered in the bedroom although every single other part of his life he is Alpha thru and thru.  When he meets Scarlet at the club in Vegas he’s shocked by how much she makes him want to let her in completely.  Of course Logan being who he is knows he can’t let her do that so puts up walls every single time she gets close to his core.  As he starts to work with her on his ranch he craves her in a way that he can’t explain but is so caught up in keeping the nightmare he lived thru bottled up that he almost drives her away.  He’s so stubborn in his battle to be strong that you want to hurt him but little by little he begins to understand what both of them need.  He’s such a good man that you really want him to finally break down because he deserves happiness.  I will admit to being a bit jealous of Scarlet because who wouldn’t want to be served in every way by such a beautiful male.  He’s rough, dirty and oh so meltingly sweet in his adoration of this woman who wants nothing more than to be his Mistress and partner.

I will definitely have to pick up the rest of this series and keep my eye out for more entries as this one had kept me from not just a heat level but a deeply loving place of healing for both our hero and heroine.

Special thanks to the team at Penguin/Berkeley for giving me a chance to read this.  I adored this new-to-me author and look forward to more.

 

five-stars

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Convicted – Dee Tenorio – 4 Stars

September 2, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 0

Convicted – Dee Tenorio – 4 StarsConvicted by Dee Tenorio
Published by Macmillan on 2014-08-18
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 241
Goodreads

A thrilling suspense from Entangled’s Ignite imprint…The only thing more dangerous than passion is the truth.Former Marine and new Sheriff’s Deputy Cade Evigan is hanging onto his damaged soul—and his personal code—by a thread. His current mission? Weed out a violent motorcycle crew from a small mountain town. The problem? Katrina Killian, a woman standing firmly on the other side of the law, smack in the middle of the gang he’s there to destroy. She may get under his skin, but the sultry biker has criminal written all over her. So why can't he see her like any other convict?For two years, Katrina has been a DEA agent hiding in plain sight amidst a pack of killers, working to put an end to the gang that has terrorized her hometown. The last thing she needs is to fall in love with a man who could blow her cover—and her heart—to pieces, but Cade’s become an addiction she can’t break. Unable to risk either of their lives with the truth, she plays both ends against the middle to keep him safe. But lies can only last so long, and Katrina’s time has just run out…

I must say what made me happiest about this story was the fact that neither of our lead pair knew what hit them when they met each other.  Both of them have every reason to not want to have a relationship at all but the chemistry between them will not be denied!

Cade is damaged due to his military service and while he is keeping it together he gives off this vibe that anyone else senses as bad news.  Sure, he’s a deputy and should be someone that the town can count on but this town has been under the control of a motorcycle gang that seems to be getting more and more violent with the jailing of their leader.  He’s in town as a favor to a friend but would be much happier up at his secluded cabin where his past doesn’t overwhelm him.  As he gets to spend time around our heroine the walls start to tumble down and he starts to actually live again.  He’s still rough as hell around the edges but people start to warm up to him as the walls fall.

Katrina…  now she made me laugh at some of her antics… Talk about a heroine who says some of the most outrageous things just to get a rise out of Cade.  She is balancing her need to help the warrior she sees so wounded by his past and her job of being undercover to bring down the gang terrorizing this small town.  She’s the best one for the job with her family ties to the organization but how far will the man who is running things while the leader is in prison go in order to consolidate power?  She’s so conflicted during this story with her overwhelming need for Cade and her duty to serve and protect that we see a couple spending much time apart because of secrets.  She wants to tell him but needs to finish this in order to make people safe.

The scenes with them are hot as hell and they burn brightly but I enjoyed the storyline of a MC gone mad and a town dealing with the consequences.  I cannot wait for the next story as I’m sure it will provide some intense moments.

Special thanks to Dee for giving me a

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Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!

August 18, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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

Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!Living in Shadow by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-08-12
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 232
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Finding his way out of the darkness could be the biggest fight of his life.

Living In..., Book 1

Law professor Eleanor May is fine with taking over a class for a colleague on sabbatical. She’s not so fine with the hot student who’s always seated front and center. Once upon a time she was that student...and the scars remain eight years after it ended.Yet this guy seems different from the others. Despite the alarm bells in her head warning her about history repeating itself, she is drawn toward the forbidden once again—even though this time it could consume her.

Lucien North’s past is darker than the ink on his skin, a reminder of a time when survival was a fight to the death. Seducing his beautiful professor wasn’t supposed to be part of his plan to put it behind him, but there’s something about Eleanor that’s gotten hold of him and won’t let go.

Together they light up the night, but will their powerful desire lead them to love—or drag them both to the brink of disaster?

Warning: Contains a younger man so hot he might scorch your fingertips, and forbidden lust so tempting, there’s no point in trying to resist. Check your inhibitions at the door—it’s WTFery 101 and class is in session.

So…. imagine you’ve finally managed to move on with your life after years of being in an abusive relationship that makes you suppress your inner desires as they’d been used to hold you captive for so long.  They’d been twisted and torn but in your deepest self you need this in order to feel whole…. Well if you can imagine this then you know our heroine, Eleanor, and can see why she finds the young man at the front of the class she is teaching to be such a threat.  She’s not ready to let go again and trust in someone but he calls to her and she finds that the more she tries to control the situation by pushing him away the less control she actually has.  She’s such a strong character but  her need to submit is something that is core to her mental health that she is finding harder and harder to keep buried.  As she begins to trust this younger man she also begins to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex and even more surprisingly finds that she is healing a younger man with an old soul who needs this bond they share to finally put his own demons to rest.

I’m going to keep Lucien’s story to myself and let you get to know him the way Eleanor does.  I will say he is amazingly hot and oh soooo yummy but his struggle with control will make you want to heal him.  He needs a strong woman who will push him to his limits but one that will yield to him, trust in him and love him enough to stand by him when the truth of his past comes out.  He’s so good at keeping others out that watching him let her in was oh so good.

I always love Jackie’s tortured heroes and heroines so this one was no exception.  They both have such an amazing amount of healing to do and seeing them find their way was very enjoyable.  As always Jackie’s very generous with me and my known grabby hands for all her stories so I can’t help but thank her for this story and the many others she’s sent my way.

 

So …  how about a quick giveaway???  Two Nook or Kindle copies up for grabs just tell me…  do you love tortured heroes/heroines as much as I do??  I’ll draw the winners on 8/22/14 at Noon Central so get your comments in before then!!!

five-stars

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Unbroken – Maisey Yates – 5 stars

August 1, 2014 Intermix, Read in 2014, Sent 0

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

Unbroken – Maisey Yates – 5 starsUnbroken by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated on 2014-08-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

In the latest Silver Creek romance from USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates, former rodeo star Cade Mitchell may never ride again, but there are still a few things he can do—like care for the woman he loves.   Amber Johnson has always thought of her best friend Cade as an older brother. A really hot older brother. But growing up in foster care, she learned to rely only on herself. As much as she likes stealing glances at Cade’s chiseled jaw and painted-on jeans, she resents the way he swoops in like a superhero to fix things for her.   When former rodeo rival Jim Davis starts harassing Amber to sell her grandfather’s failing ranch, Cade swoops in once again. To send Jim on his way, Cade pretends to be Amber’s boyfriend, moving in to help fix the place up. With her grandfather behind the idea, Amber and Cade have to keep the charade going—whether she likes it or not.   But as their make-believe romance starts to heat up, maybe Cade and Amber will learn to admit that they both could use a little saving…

I received this copy from Maisey while at the RT Convention in New Orleans.  I hadn’t read any of this series yet even though I had all of them and I am kicking myself for that.  I have since read every single one in a fast glom of the series and I can say ….  GIVE ME MORE!!  I loved this town and this family with all of its secrets.

Cade is still struggling to figure out who he is without rodeo.  He’s tired of feeling like nothing he does is worthwhile and feeling like a second wheel around his family ranch.  Cole is so set on what he wants to do with the place that even though Cade is a partner nothing will get done unless it is Cole’s way.  As someone starts making a move on his best friend Amber’s ranch he decides to step in to help in any way he can.  In this case it means pretending to be more than just friends but as the two of them start to live in the same house maybe just maybe they could burn off this sudden chemistry.  He’s such a complex character in the other stories but seeing him struggle with the mystery of who caused the incident that ended his rodeo career, his family dynamics, what he really wants from Amber and what he wants for his future was painful as hell.  I loved him when he finally said what he had needed to say to Cole for years but loved it more when he finally admitted what Amber meant to him.  They were so perfect together and seeing him truly embrace his best friend as his partner was amazing.

Amber was a perfect match for Cade.  She doesn’t put up with his crap and calls him on his behavior if he steps across boundaries.  I felt for her as she struggled to feel like she belonged even as she yearned for it with all of her heart.  She’s so guarded and prickly but with her past you can understand why it was so hard for her to realize what had been in front of her all these years.  I’m not just talking about her relationship with Cade but her relationship with her grandfather and the whole town.  She really wasn’t as alone as she thought she was but mainly she finally was able to admit that she truly did belong and wasn’t going to be sent away.  I think I loved how much she really tried to do the right thing for everyone even though it was misguided and seeing her finally admit her own weakness when it came to Cade was a wonderful moment.

I really hope to see more from this town and family because you know Cade/Cole/Lark/Nicole have potentially many more siblings out there so we have more fodder for stories in the future.. 😉

I think you will also like seeing Cade get some closure on who sabotaged him and I hope to see more of that character in order to see him get closure as well.  I’m not fond of him but …..

five-stars

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Falling for Max – Shannon Stacey – 5 Stars

July 29, 2014 Carina Press, Read in 2014, Snagged at RT 2014 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.

Falling for Max – Shannon Stacey – 5 StarsFalling for Max by Shannon Stacey
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on 2014-07-29
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Max Crawford has reached the point in life where he's starting to think about settling down. Unfortunately, he's always been a little awkward when it comes to social interactions, and working from home doesn't help. He spends so much time alone, painting beautiful, historically accurate model trains that half of Whitford has begun to joke that he may be a serial killer. Not exactly prime husband material. Tori Burns has found happiness in Maine, thanks in large part to her shifts at the Trailside Diner. She likes the work, and she loves the local gossip. When shy, geeky Max Crawford becomes a regular, she's intrigued. When she finds out he's in the market for a wife, she's fascinated…and determined to help. Molding Max into every woman's dream turns out to be much easier than expected. But has Tori's plan worked a little too well? As she turns his comfortable life all sorts of upside down, she'll have to find a way to show just how she's fallen for him…the real him.

I can sum up this book in one word –

Adorable!!

Trust me once you read this fun story you will laugh at the usage of that word just like I do every time I use it in describing Max and his lovely Tori.  They really are meant for one another and bring out the best in their new partner.

Max has made a big decision – trust me you will burst out laughing as to how this came about – he’s ready to find a WIFE.  He’s decided he needs that in order to complete his life but now the issue is how does one find a wife???  As he discovers you need to first get a date with a woman that makes you want to keep seeing her in a romantic sense but with his reputation in town how can he be sure that people want him and not the man they’ve made up?  He’s the subject of many rumors in town of which you’ll get to read about as his story unfolds but the real Max was someone that I identified with and loved.  He’s so endearingly awkward that you will cheer for him to find his perfect woman and finding out that it is the same woman trying to help him adapt to dating was perfect.  I loved how he recognized his faults and really was trying to put aside his OCD and other quirks in order to put himself out there but ultimately I loved how he learned how love should be able to handle his real self, quirks and all.  He’s just *sigh* wonderfully real and I’m glad Shannon kept him true to all his oddities.

Tori was a tough one to crack.  I loved her but found myself get frustrated with her inability to let the past go and embrace the man who loved her beyond belief.  She’s so opposed to a committed relationship but Max wears her down.  She’s so good at understanding what makes him tic and I loved the way she worked to manage his quirks without judging him for them.  She manages to show him how much she loves and understands the real man just by being supportive.  She’s so funny when they finally decide to work off the sexual tension between them and her jealousy as she sees him on a date (that she set up) made me crack up.  She’s such a great friend to everyone but seeing her so stubbornly fight what she has with Max will make you want to shake sense in to her.

Overall this story had many moments that made me crack up and moments that made me tear up as we see two deserving people finally get what most people dream of.

I am so happy to have grabbed this while at RT in NOLA but even happier when Shannon signed one at BEA that Angela James gave to me at RAGT.

 

five-stars

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Riding the Wave – Lorelie Brown – 5 Stars

July 1, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 0

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

Riding the Wave – Lorelie Brown – 5 StarsRiding the Wave by Lorelie Brown
Published by Penguin on 2014-07-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: the Author
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five-stars

The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden. The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree. Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer...without getting burned?

Once again I have to applaud the hot read from Lorelie…  She has a winner on her hands with this one in that Tanner and Avalon not only have heat but there is such a wonderful love story in the way they finally found each other.

Tanner has been away for many years in order to spare his mom and sister the pain of his dad’s secret life.  He’s arrogant but at the same time hiding so much pain that it will take your breath away to read.  His arrogance leads him to do something that he believes is best but by doing so will it cause him to not only lose the family he loves but the woman who becomes everything to him.  I liked his intense love of his family but also agreed with something said by his mom in the book.  He needs to learn to let go and as much as it hurts not try to play God even if it is with the best of intentions.  As you watch him work thru this issue you are also treated to seeing the heat that sparks between he and Avalon but what I loved most was seeing the feelings that develop as they discover one another.

Avalon was a treat.  She is strong, sarcastic and has so much love to share with the world that you can’t help but want anything to make her happy.  As she opens her heart to the man that has always held it you see someone who struggles with not believing in herself enough to stand up for what she deserves.  She keeps secrets but I understood why even as I knew it would cause her so much pain when it was discovered.  I loved her ability to sacrifice something vital in order to try to heal a family that means more than everything to her.  Her willingness to push Tanner was refreshing even as we know it hurts her to do.  As she finds out everything about the secret he was hiding you feel her pain in the betrayal of the man she thought of as a surrogate father but more you feel the pain as she struggles to understand how she might be able to help everyone heal.

I loved this story and am looking forward to more from this series…  My guess as to who Sage is going to end up with will hopefully prove true as watching that fight should prove fun.  If my guess proves out the reactions will prove to be priceless…

Thanks to Lorelie for sending me a copy of this with no expectations of review let alone expectations of a good one.

five-stars

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