Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Right Bride by Jennifer Ryan

High-powered businessman Cameron Shaw doesn't believe in love—until he falls head over heels for beautiful, passionate, and intensely private Martina. She's perfect in so many ways, immediately bonding with his little girl. Martina could be his future bride and a delightful stepmother … if only Cameron weren't blinded by his belief that Shelly, the gold-digging woman he's promised to marry, is pregnant with his child.

No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he's determined to see it through.

Will he find out in time that Shelly's lying and Marti's the one who's actually carrying his child? It'll come down to the day of his wedding. After choosing Shelly over Marti at every turn, will he convince Marti she's his world and the only woman he wants?


Did Not Finish
My review contains no spoilers, just my thoughts about why The Right Bride didn't work for me, and isn't meant to discourage anyone from reading this book.


After reading and only somewhat enjoying the first book in series, then reading and really enjoying the second book, I was definitely looking forward to reading The Right Bride, the third book in Jennifer Ryan’s The Hunted series. Sadly, it really didn’t work for me.

As you can see, the storyline itself screams angst and drama, so I was expecting that in spades, but what I wasn’t expecting was to have absolutely no connection to the characters. I couldn’t get on-board with the H/h or their relationship. Cameron was foolish, gullible, and weak, but I'm supposed to believe he's a CEO, someone competent enough to run the multi-bjillion dollar Merrick International? The man we're supposed to believe Cameron is, and the man he really is just don't add up. From the start, Shelly manipulates him and uses him, makes him look like a moron, and this just doesn't fit with the "high powered businessman" he's supposed to be.

Writing young kids who are cute and interesting can be tough for any author, and I know some readers who do not like kids in their reading, period. Normally I enjoy them in this type of story, but I found Cameron's five year old daughter, Emma, to be so far out of the realm of five year old believability that I wanted to scream. Her words, thoughts and actions were supposed to be cute, but just didn't fit a five year old, in my opinion. Her character felt forced, and rather than being adorable, Emma struck me as obnoxious. The story would have been more enjoyable if the author had allowed her to be like a normal kid, and hadn't tried so hard to make her adorable.

And this from the cover blurb is actually the nail in this story's coffin:
No matter how much his friends protest his upcoming marriage to Shelly, Cameron knows he has a duty to his children, so he's determined to see it through.
Under the right circumstances I can forgive a guy who's stupid, naive, gullible, clueless, obnoxious, and even a man-whore, but when he allows a woman he doesn't even care about to treat his daughter the way Shelly was treating Emma - that's it. I'm done. Fini, au revoir, hasta la vista, baby...

I’m just going to stop here because this is turning into a book bash and I don't like doing that. As I said, after reading book two, Lucky Like Us, I had such incredibly high hopes for this one, but honestly, I’m thoroughly disappointed and don't anticipate continuing the series.

PLEASE, if this sounds like the kind of story you normally enjoy, then definitely give it a try! Sometimes certain authors, for whatever reason, just don't work for me, and sadly, it seems that's the case with Ms. Ryan. But give her a try and decide for yourself. Who knows? You might really enjoy it!

This story was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Books in the series so far:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade by A.D. Robertson

Twenty-five-year-old Tristan Doran enjoys a life of incredible power and privilege. As a direct descendant of the Keepers—witches who have embraced dark magic—he defers to no one but his overlord, Lord Bosque Mar. For most of his life, Tristan has been kept out of the centuries-old Witches War, his bloodline too valuable to risk in battle.

But when a beautiful, young human Searcher named Sarah is captured and made a prisoner in his Irish castle, Tristan’s infatuation with her flings him headlong into the fray. Captive and captor, unable to contain their longing, embark on a passionate, forbidden romance together—only to learn that their love is at the heart of a prophecy predicting the downfall of the Keepers’  ages-old reign.

Captive explores the darker side of the richly imagined Nightshade universe, a fantasy world of powerful dark witches, shape-shifting wolf warriors, and fascinating history. The first of three erotic novels, Captive delves deeply into the fiery, illicit romance of two young lovers whose very desires invite their doom.

 Witches and wolf-shifters, wars and prophecies, of such is the Nightshade world!

This first book in A.D. Robertson’s The Forbidden Side of Nightshade trilogy is set in her popular Young Adult Nightshade world, which she writes as Andrea Cremer. But, as the title suggests, Captive is a much more adult story - sensual, intriguing, and a bit on the dark side!

When I was asked by the publisher to review this book I was a bit apprehensive. Truthfully, neither the Young Adult nor the Fantasy genre appeals to me much, and I wasn’t convinced that an adult spin-off of a series evolving from both would, either. But this world Ms. Robertson has created is just so imaginative, just so exciting, that once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down! Tristan and Sarah's forbidden love is so sensual, and the unfolding prophecy so compelling that Captive kept me turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning, and I'm anxiously awaiting more.

Many thanks to Liza Cassity at Dutton Adult for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to my day of the Dare to Love Official Blog Tour! I've got my review posted for your perusal, and Carly has some amazing prizes lined up for you! Just look -

 First Place:

IPad Mini 16g 
Customized CP iPad Mini Case
Carly Phillips Canvas Tote Bag
Dare to Love Mug
Carly Phillips T-Shirt

And signed copies of:

Dare to Love
Perfect Fit
Perfect Fling
Perfect Together
Cross My Heart
Sealed With A Kiss
Seduce Me

Second Place:

Carly Phillips Canvas Tote Bag
Dare to Love Mug

And signed copies of:

Dare to Love
Perfect Partners
Solitary Man
The Right Choice
Midnight Angel

Third Place:

Carly Phillips Canvas Tote Bag

And signed copies of:

Dare to Love
Lucky Charm
Lucky Streak
Lucky Break

Fourth Place:

Signed copies of:

Dare to Love
The Bachelor
The Playboy
The Heartbreaker

Fifth Place:

Signed copies of:

Dare to Love
Kiss Me If You Can
Love Me If You Dare  

See? I told you! Amaazzing prizes!  So check out my review, and then be sure to enter the contest using the Rafflecopter Widget below!  Good luck!!!!!

Oh, so sweet! Oh, soooo sexy! Oh, soooooooo good!

Full review now posted...unless I come up with more ways to torture our hero's father. In fact, if you, or someone you love if you don't have your own, is fond of their dangling man bits, you might want to skip this review...

Dare to Love is the first book in Carly Phillips’ Dare to Love series, and it’s also her first book as an Indie author. I haven’t read any of her work before, so I have no way to know if she's better as an IA, but I have to say, I truly enjoyed her way of telling this story!

The Cover Blurb

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.

My Rambling, Ranting (but spoiler free) Review

Wow, well… I have to say, I found this storyline very compelling. In the beginning, my feelings for Ian were mixed – hated him one minute, loved him the next, type thing. I had a tough time imagining what it was like for him to learn that his father, his role model, the man he loved and wanted to be like, had another family on the side. And worse, when that family came to light, Robert Dare chose them over Ian’s mother and siblings. Honestly, when I was finally able to wrap my head around that, I wanted to weep. No wonder Ian is so controlling. No wonder he holds himself back and doesn’t get involved in “relationships” that might lead to him being abandoned by someone else he loves. No wonder he hates his step siblings and wants nothing to do with them. No. Freaking. Wonder. If I were Ian, I'd have hated them, too! But one uttered word brought it all into perspective - and no! I won't tell you what that word is, but it tore out my heart and made me love both sets of Dare children, equally.

Riley Taylor had Ian’s absolute attention from the moment he first laid eyes on her, and it had nothing to do with the fact that she had entered the room on the arm of Ian’s step brother, Alex Dare – okay, maybe that had something to do with it. Knowing Ian's and Alex's history, their deeply rooted, consuming animosity for one another, I was worried that there’d be a lot of angst and drama, but thanks to Riley’s compassion and maturity, thankfully there was not. And I loved her for that. Seriously, had there been, it could have easily ruined the story for me, but this was handled by Riley early on, and handled well.

I’ve been wavering between 4 and 5 stars, and as I’m sitting here thinking about it, I’ve decided to go with 4 because there was something huge left unresolved, in my opinion, and it was Ian's father, Robert Dare’s remorse for what he’d done, or lack thereof. Granted, years had passed and he was probably tired of the rift his cheating ways had caused between his two sets of children, but SON-OF-A-BITCH! I have personal experience with the heartbreaking aftermath of infidelity, so in order for me to really be okay with the way his ex-wife, current wife, and most of his kids accepted his cheating ass and moved on, I needed some serious on-his-knees groveling. Some truly compelling reason for why he did what he did, and not the kissy-face reason we got. Or hell, just TRUE remorse!!! Sweet baby geebus! You might be wondering if I'm upset! Well, lemme just say that someone needs to meet the old, spineless, limp dick asshole in a dark alley, remove his balls with a spoon and make him watch while they’re fed to sewer rats. Better yet, spread peanut butter on his balls, while they're still dangling from between his legs, and make him watch while the sewer rats eat them! Now YOU decide how upset I am. Fecking fooker!

**takes a deep breath**

Alrighty, then...

Because I've Been Asked

No, this book is really not just like Fifty Shades or its clones. Yes, the two leads are wealthy, but not once was the word "millionaire" or "billionaire" mentioned, and trust me, I did a search! Gotta love ebooks!

Also, I do have Ian shelved as a "dominant male", but this really is not a BDSM story.

The bottom line

Dare to Love is at times funny, at times poignant, and at times very sexy! I’m thrilled to have finally read Carly Phillips writing, and yeah, this was my first read by this talented author, but it most certainly will not be my last! In fact, Alex’s story is up next and you couldn’t keep me from it if you tried!

My thanks to Chasity Jenkins for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review! It truly was a pleasure – despite what my outburst indicates.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How to Run with A Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

How to Run with A Naked Werewolf is the third book in Molly Harper’s Naked Werewolf series, and probably my favorite of the series, so far. It’s fun, sassy, sexy, exciting… entertaining, start to finish!

Cover Blurb:

Caleb Graham is a werewolf by nature, a tracker by profession. He uses his “extra gifts” to find people, and not always in the most legal or ethical manner. He doesn’t care what they’ve done, or who wants them found, as long as his considerable fee is paid. He likes his life simple and uncomplicated.

Anna Moder, former physician to Caleb’s pack, happens across Caleb during a particularly violent “negotiation” that has left him bloodied and unconscious. She helps him, despite the fact that he’s cost her a car, so he insists that she stay with him on the road for a while. As they grow closer, Anna looks past the gruff exterior and and the questionable job to thoroughly decent werewolf underneath.

Anna – who is careful to edit her involvement with Caleb’s pack from their conversations – doesn’t talk about why a nice girl wants to live in the middle of frozen nowhere, but she’s obviously on the run from something. When Anna’s past collides with Caleb’s current assignment from one of his sleazier contacts, Caleb finally has to make a choice—protect his job…or his potential mate?

Full review to come, closer to release date!

Available for pre-order -

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tasty Virtual Book Tour - The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

The Sum of All Kisses

By: Julia Quinn


Hugh Prentice has never liked Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, and his opinion is confirmed when he overhears her yammering on about how she must get married this season or she will simply die. He’s never had patience for dramatic females, and the words shy and retiring have never been in Sarah’s vocabulary. Besides, even if he did grow to enjoy her company, it wouldn’t matter. A reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now, unable to run, ride, or even waltz, he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.

Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought three years earlier, the one that forced her cousin into exile, nearly destroying her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn’t matter. She doesn’t care that his leg is less than perfect, it’s his personality she can’t stand.

But when the pair is forced to spend a week in close company they discover that opinions--even those firmest held--can, in fact, be altered. And when a kiss leads to two, three and four the mathematician may lose count and the miss may, for the first time, find herself speechless. 

 Rafflecopter Giveaway (Paperback Copy of A NIGHT LIKE THIS by Julia Quinn) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Info

#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code. Ms. Quinn is one of only fifteen members of Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 26 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.

Author Links


“Wasn’t that nice of Daniel to put you in the coach with us?” Frances said, as soon as Hugh had settled into his seat next to her. Or rather, it was a bit before he was settled; he was coming to realize that she was not a particularly patient child.
                “Indeed,” Hugh murmured. He supposed he was thankful, actually. Better Lady Frances than some stuffy old lady or a gentleman with a cheroot. And surely her sisters would be tolerable.
                “I asked him specially,” Frances continued. “I had such a nice time at the wedding yesterday.” She turned to her sisters. “We ate cake together.”
                “I saw,” Elizabeth said.
                “Do you mind riding backwards?” Frances asked. “Harriet and Elizabeth both get sick if they do.”
                “Frances!” Elizabeth protested.
                “It’s true. What would be more embarrassing, my telling Lord Hugh that you get sick from riding backwards, or actually getting sick from riding backwards?”
                “I would prefer the former myself,” Hugh said.
                “Are you going to chatter the whole way?” Harriet asked. Of the three, she looked the most like Sarah. Her hair was a few shades lighter, but the shape of her face was the same, and so was her smile. She looked at Hugh with a hint of embarrassment. “I beg your pardon. I was addressing my sisters, of course. Not you.”
                “Think nothing of it,” he said with a light smile. “But as it happens, I don’t intend to chatter the whole way.”
                “I was planning to write,” Harriet continued, moving a small sheaf of papers onto her lap desk.
                “You can’t do that,” Elizabeth said. “You’ll get ink everywhere.”
                “No I won’t. I’m developing a new technique.”
                “For writing in the carriage?”
                “It involves less ink. I promise. And did anyone remember to pack biscuits? I always get hungry before we stop for lunch.”
                “Frances brought some. And you know Mother will have a fit if you get ink on—”
                “Watch your elbows, Frances.”
                “So sorry, Lord Hugh. I hope that didn’t hurt. And I didn’t bring any biscuits. I thought Elizabeth was going to do so.”
                “Did you sit on my doll?”
                “Oh, bother. I knew I should have eaten a bigger breakfast. Stop looking at me like that. I’m not going to get ink on the cush—”
                “Your doll is right here. How does one use less ink?”
                Hugh could only stare. There appeared to be sixteen different conversations going on at once. With only three participants.
                “Well, I just jot down the main ideas—”
                “Do the main ideas have unicorns?”
                Hugh had been completely unable to track who was saying what until that.
                “Not the unicorns again,” Elizabeth groaned. She looked over at Hugh, and said, “Please forgive my sister. She is obsessed with unicorns.”
                Hugh glanced down at Frances. She’d gone rigid with anger and was glaring at her sister. He didn’t really blame her; Elizabeth’s tone had been as older-sibling as it got, two parts condescension and one part derision. And while he didn’t really hold that against her —he would have been the same at her age, he was sure— he was seized by a sudden urge to be a little girl’s hero.
                He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been anyone’s hero.
                “I rather like unicorns,” he said.
                Elizabeth looked stunned. “You do?”
                He shrugged. “Doesn’t everyone?”
                “Yes, but you don’t believe in them,” Elizabeth said. “Frances thinks they are real.”
                Out of the corner of his eye he saw Frances, eyeing him nervously.
                “I certainly cannot prove that they don’t exist,” he said.
                Frances let out a squeak.
                Elizabeth looked as if she’d been staring into the sun too long.
                “Lord Hugh,” Frances said, “I—”
                Frances stopped midsentence and they all looked toward the carriage door. It was Sarah’s voice, just outside the carriage, and she did not sound happy.
                “Do you think she’s going to ride with us?” Elizabeth whispered.
                “Well, she did on the way here,” Harriet replied.
                Lady Sarah. In the carriage. Hugh was not sure he could imagine a more diabolical torture.
                “It’s here with your sisters or with Arthur and Rupert,” came the voice of Lady Pleinsworth. “I’m sorry but we just don’t have room in...”
                “I won’t get to sit with you,” Frances told Hugh apologetically. “They won’t all three fit on the other side.”
                Lady Sarah would be sitting next to him. Apparently there was a more diabolical torture.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

On Death and Dying by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition. In this remarkable book, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Through sample interviews and conversations, she gives the reader a better understanding of how imminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve that patient, and the patient's family, bringing hope to all who are involved.


On Death and Dying isn't the kind of book I normally read, much less review, but it's such an important, powerful work that I feel it needs to be shared in hopes that others will benefit from the insights and wisdom found within.

I re-read this book from time to time simply because it helps me put 'the circle of life' into perspective, and having recently had to put Honey, our 11.5 year old dog to sleep, I pulled this out again and read the parts that deal with the process and necessity and importance of allowing ourselves to grieve.

This is a well written, compassionate but honest collection of interviews with dying patients and their families, the purpose of this study/book being to help both deal with the emotions and the many phases of death they will face. Denial. Anger. Depression.... It was a difficult read sometimes because I couldn't help but become attached to the patients and ache for what they were going through.

And as hard as it might be to believe, this book is also an excellent help when going through a relationship breakup, whether by choice or not. As my dear friend, Beverly, always told me, "You have to go through it to get through it. I miss you, Brat!

I highly recommend this book to anyone with elderly or ailing friends or family members, or to anyone who works in healthcare. It's written with respect and integrity, giving hope to the living and honoring the dying by helping assure them of a peaceful, dignified passing.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors by Molly Harper, Narrated by Amanda Ronconi

Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of all things marital, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend Gabriel are coming along smoothly. But the road to wedded bliss gets bumpy when a teenage acquaintance is fatally wounded in front of Jane’s shop and she turns him to save his life. The Council pronounces Jane responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst.

Jane’s kitchen at River Oaks barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen’s appetite and maintain Gabriel’s jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighborhood isn’t enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane’s newly deceased Grandma Ruthie has declared a war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly,
choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake that she can’t eat seems downright relaxing in comparison.

Tensions inside the house are growing…and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel’s heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that at this rate, she’ll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of…


Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors is the fourth in Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson books, and not only a great end to the series, but a nice segue to the spin-off series, Half Moon Hollow.

Jane and Gabriel are finally getting married, but this wouldn’t be Jane Jameson’s undead life if things went smoothly. Ghosts, ghouls, vampires, shifters… you name it and they’re part of Jane's world. Some are funny, some are annoying, some are charming, and some are damed sexy, but all can be counted on to keep things interesting.

I’ve really enjoyed this entire series. The books are witty, easy reads, and Amanda Ronconi does a fantastic job narrating them. But whether you read or listen, you’re sure to be thoroughly entertained.

I highly recommend these books for fans of light urban fantasy and paranormal romance.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale

"Don't let that happen to me." Her words shook. "Don't leave me to be what I'll become without you."

This is a review of the audio book as well as the story itself.

Once again Laura Kinsale has written an amazing novel, and Nicholas Boulton has made it real. I can’t even explain what he brings to the stories he narrates. How he makes the hero and heroine so much more than just characters in a book. He doesn’t merely read their lines, he exists in them. The people, their lives, their passions and trials and triumphs… he becomes them! He makes them living, feeling human beings – flawed, tormented, irredeemable people who I can’t help but fall in love with.

The Story

Leigh’s need for revenge drives her far from home to La Paire, in the foothills of the French Alps, seeking the help of the legendary highwayman known as le Seigneur du Minuit – The Prince of Midnight. She needs someone with his strength, his cunning, and his skills at swordplay if she has any hope of destroying the man that destroyed her family. But convincing le Seigneur to help is harder than Leigh anticipated, and so begins a battle of wits and wills.

S.T. Maitland isn’t the man he once was – not physically or emotionally. As Leigh’s masquerade unravels and her story comes out, bit by bit, S.T. knows that her’s is a cause le Seigneur du Minuit would have championed. But now, barely able to stand up without falling over, hope he once had of healing, any high esteem he’d once regarded of himself is gone, and S.T. doesn’t imagine to be any use to anyone.

My Thoughts

Oh, what an emotional roller-coaster ride this is! At times I loathed Leigh, at times I loved her. At times I hated S.T., at times I worshipped him! From one scene to the next I didn’t know what to expect from these two equally tortured souls! It’s a heartbreaking, uplifting, romantic, painfully brilliant story, and that, lovely readers, is why I was up until the wee hours, listening, unable to close my eyes until the end.

I’m not usually a fan of high-angst stories, but this one sucked me in, chewed me up and spit me out - and I loved every minute of it! I wanted to kill Leigh and S.T. at the same time I couldn’t help but love them both. I desperately needed them to get their happily ever after just as desperately as I wanted them to give up on each other and walk away. But these words made it all come together for me, made it all okay...
He tried to pull away, and then suddenly his grip tightened on her hands. He lifted them to his mouth. "Ah God, you are. . . you are. . . and what can I give you in return?"

"Give me your joy, Seigneur." She pressed her forehead against their clasped hands. "Oh, give me your joy. I can go on alone if I must. I'll endure, oh yes—I'm too strong to break. And I'll grow old and turn into stone if you leave me. I'll never look up and see you play with the wolf; I'll never hear you call me sweet names in French; I'll never learn to beat you at chess." She shook her head violently. "Please. . . dance with me. Take me to Italy. Paint me in the ruins at midnight. Give me all your mad notions and your crazy heroics and your impossible romantical follies. And I'll be your anchor. I'll be your balance. I'll be your family. I won't let you fall."

His hands opened. He slipped his fingers over her cheeks, cupping her face between his palms.

She felt hot tears fill her eyes. "I'm so weary of grief and hate." She bent her head and stepped away, looking up into his face. "I want a chance to give you the best of myself, too."

Far off beyond the lake, a crane made its warbling whoop, exotic and startling against the background of the harpsichord. He lifted his hand, touched her cheek, caught the single tear that tumbled down it.

She bit her lip. The tears came, impossible to stop. "I love you," she said in a cracked voice. "The truth is, Monseigneur. . . I need you more than you need me."

He was silent, his hand against her skin, warm against the night air.

"Don't let that happen to me." Her words shook. "Don't leave me to be what I'll become without you."
And so, in the end, when it was all said and done and I was listening to those final words of the story, I knew it was right. I knew that even though their happily ever after was hard fought, it was so, so well deserved, and that made it right.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Way Home by Cindy Gerard

Romantic, passionate, and heartwarming!

The Way Home is the second book in Cindy Gerard's One-Eyed Jacks series, but don't let the cover fool you! Yeah, this is a romantic tale filled with the kind of joy the holidays deliver, but it's also one exciting, heartbreaking, uplifting, steamy, and hope inspiring love story.

The Story

Four years ago Jess got the news every Army wife dreads - her husband has been killed in action and won't be returning home to her. She had struggled with Jeff's Special Forces 'here today, gone tomorrow' assignments, and they'd even fought about it before his last deployment, but his death left a gaping, empty place inside her, one she tried to fill - or mask - by throwing herself into work. But Tyler Brown, ex-military hero and all around sexy, alpha male, has Jess realizing that maybe it's time to stop merely existing, and time to start living again. And maybe even love again. Wedding plans are set and these two wonderful people who have both known great loss are looking forward to a future filled with the kind of love they never thought they'd find again, when word comes down that Jeff's been found alive - though not necessarily well - and a team is being sent to Afghanistan to rescue him and bring him home.

My Thoughts

This type of storyline is tough to write and even tougher to write well, but Cindy Gerard has pulled it off with flying colors! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I should have known better than to doubt Ms. Gerard's ability to tell a story that would draw me in and touch me deeply.

Tyler Brown, younger brother to Killing Time's Mike Brown, is such an amazing guy. He's not your typical action romance novel hero, but he's a hero, nonetheless. Caring, compassionate, sexy-as-sin, and patient yet determined to get what he wants - he's got what it takes to get my *swoon-worthy* stamp of approval.

Jess turned out to be every bit as amazing as Ty. She's also compassionate and caring, but I respected her for her loyalty to Jeff and her honesty with Ty and Jeff, both. She's strong and independent, but she's got an ability to love and nurture that made me admire and care about her and her happiness.

I'll admit that the happily ever afters fell into place a bit quicker and more conveniently than is realistic or likely to happen, but as I said, this is one of those special love stories, the kind that we hope for, the kind that happens through the magic of Christmas.

My sincerest thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for providing me with a copy of this wonderful story!