Sunday, September 16, 2012

Until There Was You by Jessica Scott

He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.

He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.
Until There Was You is the second book in Jessica Scott’s Coming Home series and another great story. The characters, the plot, everything about this book drew me in and didn't let me go.
One of the things I most enjoy about this author’s way of telling a story is the unique, candid look we get into the behind-the-scenes, decision making process. These stories are not just blow 'em up, shoot 'em dead military romantic melees, though sure, there's some of that, too. But I really appreciate seeing the things that go into preparing our troops to go off to war.

Now, don't misunderstand, this isn't a politically driven storyline, rather a first hand look at what happens before, during, and after deployment, told the way only someone who has been there and done that can tell it, and Jessica Scott, a career Army officer, has been there and done that. The stories feel real, the characters genuine, and the relationships take time to develop, meaning the romances are believable... comfortable.

Evan and Claire's ongoing struggle to deny the attraction they feel for one another was at times heartbreaking, at times very sexy, but with more coitus interruptus than you can shake a stick at, it was also, at times, a bit frustrating. But their personal struggles, their intense need to always do the right thing made them people I cared deeply about and people I couldn't help but want to see work through their seemingly insurmountable issues to find the happily ever after they were both so deserving of.

I'm looking forward to read more in this series!

My thanks to Ms. Scott for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.     

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards

Since the accident that nearly took her life, Chloe suffers from acute agoraphobia. Living alone above her family's bookstore, she spends restless nights terrified by strange visions . . . until a mysterious stranger appears and offers her salvation. Chloe is drawn to the ethereal, gorgeous Nathaniel-but her haunted soul warns her there is more to him than meets the eye.

An archangel who roams Earth collecting souls of the newly departed, Nathaniel is the sole witness to the accident that should have taken Chloe's life. Seduced by the purity of her soul, he defies Providence by saving her life. But his attempt at kindness marks Chloe for damnation, and makes her an unwitting pawn in a game of unholy ambition. Now together they must fight the demons of Hell itself-for a love that defies the boundaries of Heaven and Earth.


Soul Weaver is the first book in the Wicked Kin series. It’s a unique tale, something hard to find in a genre saturated with angels - arch, fallen or otherwise - and I was instantly drawn into the story and the world Hailey Edwards has created.

There’s just something about angels that appeals to me, especially when they are tormented souls, and that is what Ms. Edwards has given us. Nathaniel is such a complex, complicated angel - a Soul Weaver – torn by his duty to collect the marked souls and see them to their destination without interfering, and his attraction to Chloe’s pure soul and his need to allow her to live. As is his nature, he struggles to do the right thing even when what the right thing is, is not clear.

Chloe has always had social anxiety issues, but since the accident that should have killed her and the nightmares ever since, she suffers from a debilitating case of agoraphobia. It was heartbreaking to watch her try and overcome her fears, and fail, resigning herself to a life lived entirely within the walls of her family bookstore and the tiny apartment upstairs. In the beginning I was concerned that Chloe might come across as lacking in personality because she didn’t have much of a life to speak of, but her struggles and triumphs, no matter how small, make her a compelling, lovely heroine who I came to care deeply for.

The bottom line – I really enjoyed this book. It’s not without some flaws, times when things felt rushed and others when they were a bit slow, which isn't unusual with all that goes into setting the backdrop for first books in a series. But when it's all said and done, I was drawn to this unique world and the characters who live there. If you enjoy romances where the hero and heroine have much to overcome and stories where there's a fine line between right and wrong, then check this one out. I found it exciting, passionate, sexy and I'm definitely looking forward to more of what promises to be a very exciting series.

3.5/5 stars

My thanks to Forever Yours, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, and for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rev it Up by Julie Ann Walker

Soldier. Hero. Ladies’ Man. He’s the one who broke her heart...

Career soldier Jake “The Snake” Sommers has made a few mistakes in his life, but none so terrible as forsaking the only woman he’s ever loved. But he’s finally conquered his inner demon, the one that thirsted only for blood. So, now he’s back. And he’s not leaving without Michelle. Unfortunately, her enemy has other plans. Plans to see her dead.

Mother. Warrior. Lover. She’s the one he left behind...

Michelle Carter has never forgiven Jake for abandoning her all those years ago. Now he’s suddenly back, after she’s finally begun to make a life for herself. But her safe, orderly world is about be blown apart. With a psychotic Las Vegas mobster gunning for her, she has no choice but to turn to Jake. Only there’s more at stake than her life. As they all head for a showdown, something that was never meant to be revealed is suddenly thrown into the light. And with a secret this hot, there’s bound to be an explosion.
 Rev it Up is the third book in Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights, Inc. series and my favorite of the three, so far. The story was both action-packed and poignant, opening with a heartbreaking, intense scene that had me feeling anger, sadness and loss. From the very first pages the tortured hero, Jake Sommers, grabbed hold of my heart and didn’t let go.
I’ve enjoyed all three BKI stories but this one drew me in on many levels. A truly emotionally tortured hero, a widow whose husband served with Jake, raising her small child alone, fighting the memories of her own dysfunctional childhood that we learned of in the last book… yes, this story has it all and kept me turning the pages faster and faster wanting to find out what happens next, yet not wanting the story to end.

One of the things I most love about Ms. Walker's writing is her ability to take us from poignant to sexy to funny to intense... and she does it so well that you can actually imagine yourself there, caught up in whatever it is that's taking place. And I love that! I want to be drawn in. I want to feel the passion, the fear, the hope... to be engrossed, enthralled and captivated by the story and the characters, and with Rev it Up that's exactly what I got. I can't ask for more than that!

My thanks to and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, the pleasure was mine.     

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.


Never Seduce a Scot is the first book in Maya Banks’ The Montgomerys and the Armstrongs series, and fun, sexy, entertaining tale! From beginning to end, these feuding clans made this a story filled with twists and turns, situations that were both heartbreaking and inspiring, and kept me turning page after page to see what was going to happen next. Anyone who has read Maya Banks’ contemporaries knows that this woman can write burn up the pages sex scenes, but I wasn’t sure how she’d pull off a non-erotic story. Well, it’s an understatement to say I wasn’t disappointed and, for the record, this is one steamy read.

Given the nature of this story I was a tad concerned that the internal dialog would be dry, making the story drag. But I’m happy to say that Ms. Banks’ did a great job of taking inside Eveline’s mind, letting us get to know her and making her thoughts a pleasure to read! At no time did this necessary storytelling bog down the story, and for that I am very grateful!

I can’t often say that I adored the heroine as much as I did the hero but, in this case, I can. Eveline was such a strong, determined young woman who could have justifiably been whiny and bitchy, but she wasn’t. She was feisty, compassionate, loving, forgiving… a truly wonderful lady befitting her role of the Laird’s wife. And speaking of the Laird… lordy, was Graeme ever amazing. He had every right to be angry, bitter, vengeful… but he was none of those things… well, he never directed those things toward Eveline. Honest, understanding, tolerant… the kind of man a woman like Evenline deserves. They were perfectly matched and their happily ever after was hard earned and well deserved.

The bottom line: Never Seduce a Scot is a delightful, sexy story. While I would have loved to have heard a more distinctly highlander voice given to the dialog, I truly enjoyed the way this tale was told. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next installment in this series, Highlander Most Wanted.

4 of 5 stars

My thanks to for providing me with a copy of this eARC in behalf of Ballentine Books,a division of Random House Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review!