Friday, July 27, 2012

Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne

Deadly Addiction, the second book in Kristine Cayne’s Deadly Vices series isn’t what we typically find in the romantic suspense genre. In addition to being a fast paced, emotional story, it’s intriguing, thought provoking, and unique. Oh, and definitely very sexy.
A proud people. A nation divided.

Rémi Whitedeer, police officer turned substance-abuse counselor, dreams of restoring order to his tribe. Violence and crime are rampant throughout the unpoliced Iroquois reserve, and a civil war is brewing between the Guardians, a militant traditionalist group, and other tribal factions. As the mixed-race cousin of the Guardians’ leader, Rémi is caught in a no-man’s land—several groups lay claim to him, but all want him to deny his white blood.

A maverick cop on an anti-drug crusade.

When she infiltrated the Vipers to take down the leader of the outlaw biker gang responsible for her brother’s death, police sergeant Alyssa Morgan got her man. But her superiors think she went too far. Her disregard for protocol and her ends-justify-the-means ethics have branded her an unreliable maverick. To salvage her career, she accepts an assignment to set up a squad of native provincial officers on a reserve.

A radical sovereigntist bent on freeing a nation.

Decades of government oppression threaten the existence of the Iroquois Nation. But one man, Chaz Whitedeer, is determined to save his people no matter what the price, even if it means delving into the shadowy world of organized crime.

When Rémi and Alyssa uncover the Guardians’ drug-fueled scheme to fund their fight for true autonomy—a scheme involving the Vipers—Rémi must choose between loyalty to family and tribe or his growing love for Alyssa.

Can Rémi and Alyssa leave everything behind—even their very identities—for a future together?
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Deadly Obsession, and had fallen hard for Nic Lamoureux's half-breed friend, Rémi Whitedeer. When Ms. Cayne assured me that Rémi would be getting his own story, I was more than a little excited, and to find out his was up next... well, suffice it to say the wait was agonizing, but well worth it!

At first I was a bit concerned that this would be a 'message' story, but in the end I was quite impressed by the way the sensitive, potentially volatile subject of First Nations autonomy and sovereignty was handled. Too often I feel like authors use their stories to try and sway readers to their way of thinking without bothering to provide all the facts so we can form our own opinions. Fortunately, that's not the feeling I got while reading this book. Truth is, the way Ms. Cayne presented this story, with fact infused fiction, made me want to learn more about the events mentioned in the book. And, in addition to the political issues, we also read about the alarming growth rate of drug and alcohol addiction on Native lands. Now, it might sound like a dry read, but make no mistake about it, Deadly Addiction is anything but. There's just enough detail to keep things interesting, but not so much that it bogs down the story.

As I said, I was totally drawn to Rémi before even beginning this book. He's such a complicated man, and yet at the very heart of him, so down to earth. So grounded. I loved how he fell so hard for Alyssa that he was willing to do whatever he had to go, give up whatever he had to give up, to be with her. The romance is a solid, major part of the story, and helped keep the story moving. The sexual attraction and chemistry was clear from the start and in the end, despite the odds, Alyssa and Rémi got the happily ever after they were so deserving of.

4.5/5 stars

My thanks to the author, Kristine Cayne, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Kristine Cayne will be visiting the Dangerous Hero Addict Support Group (on Goodreads) on August 4th and 5th. She'll be chatting, answering a questions and giving away a couple of her books. Please stop by and say hello! Click here to check it out:  Getting to Know Kristine Cayne

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry

Something more than friendship…

Being a single dad was never on Michael Young’s agenda. Yet with the sudden loss of his wife, that’s exactly the role he has. On his best days, he thinks he can handle it. On his worst… Luckily, family friend Angie Bartlett has his back, easily stepping in to help out.

Lately, though, something has changed…

Michael is noticing exactly how gorgeous Angie is, and how single she is. She’s constantly in his thoughts and he feels an attraction he never expected. Does he dare disrupt the very good thing they have going? If they have a fling that goes nowhere, he stands to lose everything—including her. But if they make it work, he stands to gain everything!


Within Reach is one of the best, most poignant, most beautiful contemporary romances I’ve read to date. The very nature of this story sets this up to be heartbreaking and tragic on so many levels, but it is also inspiring and hopeful and uplifting, too.

When Billie Young died, she left behind her two small children, Eva and Charlie, a devastated husband, Michael, and her best friend, Angie. The pain and the shock of her sudden death sent them all reeling, but it's the loneliness and emptiness which Michael can't seem to overcome that threatens to destroy what's left of his family. Angie can no longer watch the slow disintegration of these people she loves so much, so she decides to step in and do what she can to bring them back to the land of the living.

I was so impressed with the level of compassion and sensitivity given to the telling of this story. Angie's and Michael's struggle to move forward was such an emotional journey and I loved how they helped each other through it. Their physical attraction to one another didn't happen overnight, but was a natural, gradual... awakening. Their passion and sexual chemistry was combustive and felt right because the grieving process wasn’t rushed. In fact, everything about this story flowed well, and I felt as though I was part of it somehow. As though these people were my friends and I was right there as their story unfolded.

The bottom line: For as long as I can remember, Harlequin novels have had a reputation of being nothing but cheesy, melodramatic short stories, but trust me on this; the Harlequin of today is not your mama’s Harlequin! The stories address today’s issues, today’s lifestyles and relationships, and do so in a believable, entertaining way. I’m so glad I decided to give these books another try because they’ve turned out to be some of my very favorite, most enjoyable reading experiences, and books like Within Reach are the reason why. Thought provoking, uplifting, inspiring... this story has made it to my "keepers" shelf and Sarah Mayberry is an author who I will absolutely be reading more of.

4.5 of 5 stars!
My thanks to and Harlequin for providing me with a copy of this truly beautiful story in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Samurai Game by Christine Feehan

In an underground club, a high-ranking public official spends his secret nights indulging in fantasies as exciting as they are depraved. For a seductive employee of the Dungeon, it’s her job to fulfill them. But she’s playing a far more dangerous game—one of blackmail, politics, and murder that reaches into the shadow world of the Ghostwalkers, and the creation of a spectacular, one-of-a-kind new weapon of defense.

But when a dictator makes his own catastrophic moves, the Ghostwalkers have no choice but to bring in two major players—a man and woman both driven by passion and revenge. Both expendable. Both with nothing left to lose.

Christine Feehan’s GhostWalkers is one of my very favorite PNR/RS series. I love the plot, the characters, the writing… I’m always thrilled when a new book is released, then sad when I’ve finished reading it. That was, and is, the case with this tenth installment of the series, Samurai Game.

I always like to include the book blurb in my reviews, but the official blurb for Samurai Game sucks doesn't really give us much of what this story is about. Christine Feehan posted this on her site, and after seeing it on my friend Kris' review, I decided to post it here, too:

"I’m currently working on Samurai Game, a very exciting action/thriller/romance. My heroine, Thorn, was taken from an orphanage in Japan, enhanced by Dr. Whitney and when he couldn’t find exactly what her psychic ability was, he deemed her useless for anything other than experimentation. His experiments were brutal and at age eight, he threw her away, back to the streets of Japan, in the worst neighborhood, forgetting all about her. Thorn never forgot about him.

Team One is back in full force, and the story is action packed. The chemistry between Thorn and Sam Johnson sizzle. Sam is brilliant and has the most amazing psychic abilities. With his enhancements he and Thorn make a formidable team to fight an unexpected enemy and take out the lifeline between Dr. Whitney and the White House."
Yeah, that's a much better description!

There are so many things to love about this book. Azami "Thorn" Yoshiie creates a slightly different feel to the story than that of the previous books. A female of Japanese descent, she has a... quietude about her and is, in some ways, very unlike the other GhostWalker women. Peaceful, calm… she has a kind of tranquil aura that, for those who do not know her, is quite deceiving. And dangerous. Though she appears to be a non-threat, she’s probably the deadliest of them all because they never see her coming until it's too late. And sometimes, not even then.

Sam “Knight” Johnson is your typical male GhostWalker. He’s strong, determined, dedicated to the teams and does whatever he must to get a job done. Like all the men, his special abilities are vital to whatever mission they are on, so when the team learns that Peter Whitney has offered him up as a sacrifice, deeming Sam expendable, they're more than a bit surprised. But when it starts to look like they have a traitor amongst them - the last person on earth they’d ever suspect would want Sam gone, the team, with Captain Ryland Miller leading, takes matters into their own hands.

It's an understatement to say that I enjoyed this story! Loved it! The action scenes were intense, gripping, send your pulse racing excitement! I can’t remember ever being as captivated by this aspect of the story in any other book in the series. And the romance was very… romantic. Even though the passion and the physical attraction was there from the beginning, Sam and Azami’s romance was a slow build, as calm and peaceful as Azami herself. But remember, her sweet, zen-like demeanor is only one side to Azami and unlike some of the other GhostWalker men when it comes to their woman - and one of the things I love most about him - Sam digs her not-so-soft-and-fluffy side, too:
She sent him another smile. She touched the white balls at the end of the chains. “These are not real pearls, just shells to house the ammunition for my blow gun. It gives me ten extra needles in a fight.”

“I’m getting another hard-on just thinking about you with all those weapons.” His hand snaked out, fingers settling around her wrist. He tugged until she was between his legs. “How am I going to get through the day knowing you’re so damned sexy, woman?”
One of the high points for me in these stories is the chance to revisit characters from previous books, and such is the case – even more-so – in this one! To see where everyone is, how they’re doing… it’s such a treat for me because each couple has become a favorite.

The bottom line: Well, she did it again! Christine Feehan gave me a story that far exceeded my expectations and has left me longing for the next book in the series, and no matter when it gets here, it just won't be soon enough!

4.5/5 stars


Monday, July 9, 2012

Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

Hell on Wheels is the first book in the Black Knights, Inc. series and author Julie Ann Walker’s debut novel. It’s fun, sexy, and fast paced, and kept me guessing as to the 'who, what, why and how' right to the very end.
He’s the bad boy she’s always wanted...

Nate “Ghost” Weller has loved Ali Morgan nearly half his life. But he’s done something so heinous he’s convinced she’ll never forgive him if she discovers the truth, so he keeps his feelings and his secrets to himself. Then she blows into town with a mother lode of bad guys on her tail and Nate can’t deny she’s in serious trouble. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who can help her.

She’s the good girl he’s kept at arm’s length...

Ali knows Nate as the most solemn, aloof man on the planet. Sadly, he’s also the sexiest. For years she’s avoided him, unable to stomach his dark scowls and brooding silences… especially when she secretly yearns for his touch. Now she must rely on him to save her from the malevolent shadows ghosting her every move. When the bullets explode, so does their passion. But can love really conquer all? Or are some things just too terrible to forgive?
Overall I enjoyed this story but, as with most first books in a series, there was quite a bit of time given over to world building and character introductions which caused things to move at a slower pace early on. However once things got moving, things really got moving and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Corrupt or misguided politicians are not new to the romantic suspense genre, but the way this theme was woven into the story worked well for me.

I loved the entire cast of characters, even those secondary to the story, though sometimes I felt like they were being given too much page time, time I would have rather spent with Ali and Nate, who I adored. Ms. Walker did a fantastic job of showing us Nate’s pain over losing his best friend and feeling totally responsible for his death, almost to the point of being crippled by his guilt. In fact, there was one scene that was so heart-breaking, I had to stop reading because I couldn’t stop crying.

The bottom line: The writing isn’t perfect and as I mentioned earlier there are areas where things seemed to drag, but when it’s all said and done, I truly enjoyed this story and found it to be a pretty impressive debut novel. And, most importantly, I was left wanting… no, needing to read the next book in the series, In Rides Trouble, Frank “Boss” Knight and Becky "Rebel" Reichert’s story!

My thanks to and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Because of You by Jessica Scott

Because of You by Jessica Scott is the first book in her romantic suspense series, Coming Home, and her debut novel. It’s sweet, romantic, passionate, heartbreaking, hopeful, exciting… all served up by awesome characters whose trials and triumphs had me invested in them early on and kept me coming back for more.
Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire.
If you enjoy romantic suspense and love reading about our emotionally and physically scarred heroes who, with the love of a good woman, combat their demons, then you might want to check this out. And if you enjoy a different perspective, heroines who carry emotional and physical scars who, also with the love of a good man, fight their own demons, then you definitely want to give this book a try. While it isn't without its flaws - at times it moved a bit slow and at other times things seemed a tad rushed, all-in-all this is an impressive debut novel. It’s unique, steamy, insightful, funny, inspiring… a truly entertaining story that has me very much looking forward to Ms. Scott’s next installment in the series, Until There Was You.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

Forever and a Day is the sixth book in the Lucky Harbor series and I am at a loss for words to express how I felt about this story. In all my reviews of Jill Shalvis’ books I use the same words: sexy, passionate, beautiful, wonderful, heartwarming, feel good, magical… and all of those words apply to this story, too.
Love can happen in a heartbeat.

Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…
I absolutely adore this story… the entire series, in fact. But of the last three books, this is my favorite. There was something special about Grace, something I didn't notice in the earlier books, but something I deeply admired and appreciated. Her strength, her compassion... incredible. But the way she gave Josh whatever he needed, whether he realized he needed it or not? Well, that unconditional devotion made her one of my favorite heroines in the series. And Josh, a man who cared for others, selflessly, even to his own detriment. But a wonderful father, brother, lover... and so, so real. Not a commando or black ops specialist... just a normal guy. The kind of man you really could meet in the grocery store or dropping kids off at school, and I loved that about him! An everyday Hero, but just as hot and sexy as any "dangerous" hero I've read before.

The bottom line: Yep, no surprises here! Jill Shalvis has done it again. With a great story and amazing characters she made me fall in love with Lucky Harbor all over again. If there's really such a place, someone please let me know, because I'd be there in a heartbeat. Who doesn't want that kind of magic in their life?

My sincerest thank you to and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, it's been a pleasure.