Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wild and Free (The Three #3) by Kristen Ashley - Review and Blog Tour and Giveaway!!!

Wild and Free, the third and final book in Kristen Ashley’s The Three trilogy is an action packed, super sexy story about faith, trust, and never giving up on the people you care about, regardless of the danger to yourself. Most importantly, though, Wild and Free is a story of hope, dedication, determination, and unconditional, uncompromising love.

Abel Jin and Delilah Johnson have lived their lives with a hole in their soul, yearning for something they don’t understand.

Until one night Delilah is in mortal danger and a man who’s otherworldly strong and supernaturally fast saves her. Delilah is then cast into a world where fiction comes to life in the form of Abel, her destined mate, a vampire/werewolf hybrid who claims her at first breath as his.

But Abel knows the danger isn’t done. He’s dreamed for centuries that his mate will perish and he will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

For Delilah, she’s not only coping with fantasy come to life, but a mingling of very different families. Not to mention, she has on her hands a man who doesn’t understand his true nature and has lived his long life thinking he’s a monster.

Abel and Delilah together fills the hole that has been clawing at them for decades. But finally finding each other, it also tips their destinies as the last of The Three. They must unite with the other destined lovers, who with Abel and Delilah, are fated to save the world.

Or die trying.
My thoughts…

There’s so much to love about this story, and oh, how I love this story! I love it because I believe in it! I believe, with all my heart, that humanity can come together, beat back the selfishness and ugliness of the world and, with a little hope and goodness and sacrifice, make this planet we’re on an amazing place where we can all live together in peace, as one, not just tolerating each others' differences, but embracing them! I also love it ‘cuz it’s a great romance and holy hot alpha shifting bloodsucker burn up the pages sexy, but if I mention holy hot alpha shifting bloodsucker burn up the pages sexy first, you might think I'm a lusty wench, and I can't have that now, can I? ;)

Anyway, this is a great end to the trilogy. We get to spend time with Lucien and Leah, and Callum and Sonia, along with others we've come to love throughout the story. There are some laughs, some sighs, loads of fanning, but also some heartbreaking moments. If you think I loved each and every word of Wild and Free, you would not be wrong!

An ARC of Wild and Free was provided by the author, in part for my participation in the Wild and Free Blog Tour, but also because she's all kinds of awesome!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After #2) by Tessa Dare


Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?
After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?
● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.
● He doesn't kiss her.
● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.
● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

Tessa Dare's Castles Ever After series is just so much fun! She's given historical romance a refreshing twist while staying true to what we love most about the genre.

Say Yes to the Marquess is the second book in the series, and tells the story of two of society's less...acceptable...peers - Clio Whitmore who has been given the nick name Miss Wait-More thanks to her eight year engagement to Piers Brandon who seems in no hurry to tie the knot, and Rafe Brandon, Piers' black-sheep brother who prefers the title of Champion Pugilist to any he'd carry due to his bloodline.

But eight years have given Clio enough time to realize that she wants more from life than to be the property of a man who doesn't care for her. She wants to be independent, to make her own choices. And if she ever does decide to marry it'll be to someone like Rafe, a man she loves.

Rafe knows he's been a constant disappointment to his family, so when it comes to watching over Clio until his brother returns from his wanderings to claim his bride, he's not going to let anything, not even Clio's decision not to marry Piers, stand in the way of holy matrimony.

There are only a handful of authors who can pen a tale guaranteed to sweep me off my feet, and Tessa Dare is one of them. Rafe and Clio are proof that opposites attract, and attract with a chemistry that burns up the pages. The supporting cast is made up of great characters, but Phoebe, Clio's sister...that is a girl I adore and want to see her find her happily ever after with a man who will love her for all her...quirks.

An eARC of this story was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss. To show my appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Many years ago I took my now adult kids out of public school to home-school them. This book was one of the first I bought to add to their reading library when I was looking for entertaining ways to teach history, and I loved it. I've thought about it often through the years and now... I think it's time for a re-read. It's thought provoking in a way younger readers can understand, and older readers can appreciate.


It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse. But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.

I HIGHLY recommended this book!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Merry Christmas, Baby (Lucky Harbor 12.5) by Jill Shalvis

Chloe and Sawyer's happily ever after has always been my favorite of all the couples in the Lucky Harbor series because theirs was the hardest fought and the most richly deserved. These two amazing people grew up hard, and finding each other ... well, finding each other gave them a chance at a beautiful life filled with family, joy, and the best kind of love - the kind you get when you've found your soulmate.

Wild child Chloe Thompson can't believe how much things have changed. She still can't get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen.
Merry Christmas, Baby made me smile, made me sigh, and even had me a little misty eyed. I loved this visit with my favorite couple and being with them and seeing their family grow is the perfect ending to their beginning and a perfect holiday read!

An ARC was provided by Grand Central Publishers via Netgalley.

Purchase on Amazon: Merry Christmas, Baby: A Lucky Harbor short story


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight 3.5) by Stephenie Meyer

I want to say, right up front, that I hadn’t planned to read this book because those of us who read the entire Twilight Saga already know that things don’t turn out well for Bree Tanner. She played a very, very minor role in the book, Eclipse - I don’t even think she appeared in more than 2 pages - so, why read something about a character I cared very little about and already knew the outcome of?

Well, one day I went to my mailbox and there was a package from my dear friend and fellow Twilight fan, Dee, and inside was my very own copy of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. I was excited and touched by her thoughtfulness and realized that my fate was sealed! I would be reading Bree’s story, after all.

I’ll be honest, the first 50 pages or so seemed rather ho-hum to me, and I've decided that's because I began this book dreading the outcome. Once I wrapped my mind around reading this for the story as it related to Victoria’s army of newborn vampires, I couldn’t put it down. I’m not going to go into the plot, because frankly, if you've read Eclipse you won't need details, and if you haven’t read Eclipse, you’ll not understand what the point of this book is, and it would take way too long to explain.

What stands out most to me about Bree’s story is how all of the newborns were manipulated. It made me think of charismatic leaders around the world — political, religious, corporate or yes, even vampire — and how much influence they have over the people who are dependent on them, because if you can convince someone or some group that they need you, that you’re only looking out for their best interest and that life without you as their leader would be filled with pain and anguish, possibly even death… you’d have absolute control over them.

Such was the case with the newborn vampires, and when looking at them in this light - as people violently torn from humanity and forced into a new way of life which they nothing about – were literally newborns and dependent on someone else for their survival — I found myself actually feeling sorry for them. I started wondering about the families who are missing them, what kind of people they would have been had they lived out their human lives. So what started out being a dreaded read, became one that really made me think about life and those we trust to lead us.

And for the first time since reading Eclipse, I wished with all my heart that things could have been different for Bree Tanner.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (Rules of Scoundrels #2) by Sarah MacLean

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is the second book in Sarah MacLean’s The Rules of Scoundrels series, and from the first page to the last, simply wonderful! It’s witty, poignant, romantic, and sexy, and a story I simply couldn’t put down!
Cover blurb: Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she's never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London's most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.

Like any good scientist, Pippa's done her research and Cross's reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion - the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it's more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts - and giving the lady precisely what she wants.

My review...

 I don’t know where to begin when sharing with you the many things I love about this book! The story is amazing - fast paced, sensual, deliciously sexy and very romantic. It's the perfect backdrop for our hero and heroine who are also amazing. They are vulnerable yet strong, stubborn but yielding, flawed yet in a word, perfect!

Lady Phillipa Marbury, with her black and white, scientific way of thinking, drew me in and had me loving her early on. At times I laughed at how naive her ideas were, and at other times, I almost cried because of the same. I wanted to protect her from the harsh world of The Fallen Angel and Cross's life, and at other times I wanted to push her right into the middle of it - right into his arms! Pippa, like all of Sarah MacLean's heroines, is wonderful! The kind of woman I would like to be if I were living in her era.

And then there's Cross. Cross is such an interesting character! A man of many contradictions. He's got secrets, demons that torment and eat away at him. At times he's oppressive and bleak, yet at other times he's compassionate and determined to protect those he loves. He's devoted, exciting, sexy... a truly perfect hero!

And as if all that weren't enough, toss in an incredible supporting cast of characters, people whose stories I want to learn and whose lives I wish I had a place in... there's nothing more I can ask for.

The bottom line: This book has everything I look for in my historical romance reads. It’s funny, romantic, heartwarming, sexy… indeed, it has everything I want, everything I’ve come to expect from Sarah MacLean’s stories.

Many thanks to Avon Books for providing me with a paperback ARC of this story. It was a true pleasure to read!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happily Never After (Charming #2) by Jack Heckel

Happily Never After, Volume II of the Charming books, picks up where Once Upon a Rhyme left off and continues the story of the less-than-prince-like Prince Charming's plight. As with Once Upon a Rhyme this story is a mix of various classic fairytale characters and loaded with humor.

Once upon, once again…

The dragon has been slain, but the problems have just begun for Prince Charming.

Disowned by his father, the King, and abandoned by his only friend, William Pickett, Charming must find a new path in life...but he's going to need a lot of help. His love, Liz, barely survived an assassination attempt; his former fling, Rapunzel, is in danger; and William is under an evil spell cast by Princess Gwendolyn.

The fate of Castle White hangs in the balance as Charming tries to find himself, while finding new allies along the way — including an odd number of dwarfs (or is it dwarves?) and a reformed beast. But he's running out of time to stop royally ruinous wedding bells from ringing…
My thoughts...

To be clear, I'd say these books are comparable to Shrek, The Princess Bride and, because of the eye rolling humor, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I enjoyed Happily Never After, but I have to be honest - with this brand of humor a little goes a long way with me and I found myself setting it aside often. That's not a criticism of the story which is funny and clever, just that it would probably be enjoyed more by younger readers - say the 11-15 crowd, though I've seen that many adults adore it, too.

An ARC was provided by Harper Voyager, and in appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Accidental Duchess (Fairbourne Quartet #4) by Madeline Hunter

I really enjoyed this book! There was something so fresh and compelling about Lady Lydia and Penthurst's relationship that I just couldn't help but be drawn in and held captive by their story!

When Lady Lydia Thornton is blackmailed over the shocking contents of a manuscript she once wrote, she must go to the most desperate of measures to raise the money to buy back the ill-considered prose: agreeing to an old wager posed by the arrogant, dangerous Duke of Penthurst. At least Penthurst is a man she wouldn’t mind fleecing—and she’s confident she’ll win.

Penthurst long ago concluded Lydia was a woman in search of ruinous adventure, but even he is surprised when she arrives at his house ready to bet her innocence against his ten thousand pounds—a wager he only proposed to warn her off gambling.

When she loses to a simple draw of the cards, Lydia is shocked. Now, her problems are twofold: a blackmailer determined to see her pay and a duke determined to tame her rebellious ways. One misstep and Lydia could find herself ruined—or bound to the seductive man who would make her his duchess.
Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine

Author: Madeline Hunter
Title: The Accidental Duchess
Publisher: Penguin/Jove
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-0515151312    

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Midsummer Moon (Audio Review) by Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton

I loved this story. Loved it! Not just a little, but over the moon loved it! Fun, romantic, sexy, poignant... I'm heartbroken that it's over.

When a powerful, decisive aristocrat undertakes to protect an absent-minded young inventress from England's enemies, he finds his orderly world turned into chaos. Merlin Lambourne's stubborn dream of flight puts her at risk, not to mention driving Ransom crazy. In spite of himself, he's oddly enchanted by this muddled miss and her eccentric ways... but can he overcome his own fears and realize her invention may be the answer to saving both their lives?

A whimsical Regency-era tale of flying machines, fancy, and love among the hedgehogs.
I've read some reviews and it seems that Merlin, our 'genius with little common sense or social skills' heroine, grated on some people's nerves, but not mine. Oh, no. Not mine! I love her! In fact, I found her to be refreshingly unique and completely endearing, and she's now one of my all time favorite heroines. She and Ransom, so different, so completely and totally different... but absolutely brilliant together. They made me laugh, made me sigh, kept me listening through the wee hours of the morning.

Nicholas Boulton is an amazing narrator. I wish he'd narrate ALL audio books. Heck, I wish he'd narrate my name! Just my name... I'd play it over and over and over. Such a deep, rich, sexy voice.

*sigh* I'm just rambling, so I'll quit here, except to say that Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton are, hands down, my favorite author/narrator team. I can't get enough of them! Ms. Kinsale personally chose Mr. Boulton to bring her stories to life, and I hope that she'll have him narrate all her books.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Sweet Folly (Audio Review) by Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton

Poignant, romantic, mysterious...

When I'm in a reading slump I turn to authors who I know will put a smile on my face and a sigh in my heart. Kristen Ashley, Pamela Clare, Sarah MacLean, Lisa Kleypas, to name a few... and the Kinsale/Boulton author/narrator team. Without fail I have loved each book I've listened to and find it hard to leave them behind when review obligations demand I move on. But as soon as time permits I'm right back with them, escaping to new worlds and new adventures.

“My dear girl! I could never fall in love by letter. Though I have no doubt you are a notorious breaker of hearts, not to mention a princess in disguise, and if I were a few miles closer to Toot-above-the-Batch I would be in great danger. From the safe distance of another continent, I will admit to a modest desire to see how your pearl becomes you, even to know the color of your hair and eyes, but this is mere curiosity, I assure you.” -- Your knight, Robert

Through their innocent correspondence, a lonely young wife grows to love an imaginary man thousands of miles away. But when Folie finally meets him in truth, reality is turned upside down. She cannot find her own cherished Robert in the frightening stranger who claims her love.
My Sweet Folly is such a unique story. There were moments that things seemed to drag, but Nicholas Boulton's performance is brilliant, as always, and I loved every minute I spent with Folly and Robert!        

Monday, November 24, 2014

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (Rules of Scoundrels #4) by Sarah MacLean

Nothing short of amazing!

This final book in Sarah MacLean's Rules of Scoundrels series is brilliant! The way Chase's story unfolds and comes together with Duncan West's is storytelling at its best!

She is the most powerful woman in Britain,
A queen of the London Underworld ...
But no one can ever know.

He is the only man smart enough to uncover the truth,
Putting all she has at risk . . .
Including her heart.

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.
My review...

Sometimes a story will be so exciting, so poignant, and so romantic that I just can't put it down, nor can I put into words all the emotions it made me feel. Never Judge a Lady By Her Cover is one of those stories. Heartbreaking one moment, uplifting the next, and burn up the pages passionate yet another, start to finish Duncan and Georgiana grabbed hold of my heart and still, a couple months after reading their story, they haven't let go. Theirs is a romance for the ages, and I'm so very glad Sarah MacLean gave it to us.

To say I was captivated is to say the least, and to say I'll miss the world of The Fallen Angel is putting it mildly. Thankfully Sarah MacLean is a master at telling a story and I have no doubt I'll love whatever tale she tells next.

An ARC was generously provided by Avon Books, and to show my appreciation and gratitude I'm giving them an honest review.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Once Upon a Rhyme (Charming #1) by Jack Heckel

The dragon is dead. The princess has been saved. There is but one problem: Prince Charming had nothing to do with it.

So here I am with another book that I normally wouldn't read, but found very entertaining. Once Upon a Rhyme is a mish-mash of fairy tales all brought together in this first volume of The Charming Tales.

In order to save his royal reputation, Prince Charming must begrudgingly enlist the help of accidental hero William Pickett. The two set out on an adventure that has them fighting trolls, outwitting a scoundrel, and drinking the foulest ale ever, collecting bruises to both body and pride along the way. Meanwhile, the rescued princess, Gwendolyn, turns out to be one dangerously distressed damsel, and an evil presence takes over Castle White in Charming's absence …

Enter this rollicking world and discover just what happens when a fairytale leaves the well-trodden path of "once upon a time."
My thoughts...

This is a very clever story that reminded me of a cross between The Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Men in Tights because of the humor - some laugh-out-loud, some tongue-in-cheek, some dry wit, and some just plain eye-rolling. It's a fun read and might be okay for younger kids if you don't mind explaining things like what 'tryst' and 'making love' mean, or why the Prince might not want to leave a certain woman's bed chamber. **wink, wink** That said, there's nothing even close to descriptive sex but it's up to you to decide if it's suitable for your younger readers.

The story continues with Happily Never After: Volume II of The Charming Tales.

My thanks to HarperCollins Voyager for providing me with a copy of this story.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan

Christmas at Tiffany’s is an absolutely wonderful story, and even though chick-lit isn’t my genre of choice, this book had me laughing, sighing, and wishing it would never end! No, seriously… I did not want this story to end!

Three cities. Three seasons. One chance to find the life that fits.

Cassie settled down too young, marrying her first serious boyfriend. Now, ten years later, she is betrayed and broken. With her marriage in tatters and no career or home of her own, she needs to work out where she belongs in the world and who she really is.

So begins a year-long trial as Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with each of her best friends in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris and London. Exchanging grouse moor and mousy hair for low-carb diets and high-end highlights, Cassie tries on each city for size as she attempts to track down the life she was supposed to have been leading, and with it, the man who was supposed to love her all along.
My thoughts…

I can’t put my finger on what makes this story so perfect, and I think that’s because Christmas at Tiffany’s has it all – poignancy, great friends who’ll see you through the rough times without coddling you, romance, passion, and true love. Honestly, start to finish I was totally drawn into Cassie’s world, cheering her on as she left her past in the past to focus on the future and discover who she was really meant to be.

One of the very best things about this story is that it spans a full year, each friend taking Cassie in and giving her the chance to experience life in ways she’d never otherwise been able to. Because of this, there was no single “ah-ha!” moment in Cassie’s journey. Instead, there were several life defining moments, and I love the way those moments came to be – each an eye-opening experience, a lesson learned, and sometimes a heart broken.

Luke, Claude, and Henry… I loved them, hated them, loved them, hated them… but because they each played a very important role in Cassie’s… awakening…I wouldn’t change a single thing about them or their relationships with her. It’s an incredibly romantic and passionate story, even though there are no explicit sex scenes.

I’ve read a couple of reviews in which people have said that they feel the title, Christmas at Tiffany’s is misleading - perhaps because the story unfolds over the course of a year. I don’t really understand that at all because two of the sweetest, most romantic scenes take place during Christmas, and at Tiffany’s… and in my opinion, this story couldn’t have been more aptly titled.

And I’m going to stop now because truly, there’s really nothing I can say – no words I can come up with that will capture the emotions I felt while reading this story, and how happy I am that I did. Being chick-lit this would have never made it on my radar, and what a horrible loss that would have been.

To Maria Silva at HarperCollins who sent Christmas at Tiffany’s and asked me to take a peek, to give it a chance… thank you. Sincerely, thank you!

Buy links:
Barnes & Noble
Googlebooks Books-A-Million   

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rajmund (Vampires in America #3) by D.B. Reynolds

This is a great book. A fantastic addition to the series, and a more in depth look at this incredible world and its hierarchy. If the romance between Raj and Sarah had been more on than off, this story would have been perfect!

RAJMUND GREGOR is a vampire . . . and the undisputed Master of New York City. He bows to no one but his Sire, Krystof, who is the Vampire Lord for the entire Northeastern U.S. Based in Buffalo, NY, Krystof is an old vampire—-too old, it would seem, because he’s slowly losing his mind. Summoned back to Buffalo by his Sire, Rajmund finds his master out of touch and rapidly weakening. He knows the territory will crumble if something isn’t done, and he’s the only one of Krystof’s children strong enough to seize power. But there’s also the matter of some missing women and a rogue vampire who seems to be moving in for the kill.

SARAH STRATTON has a secret, one she’s never shared with anyone–—at least not anyone who knows her now, not even her good friend Cyn. It’s a secret that could destroy her carefully constructed life, but it’s one she may have to share with a vampire, if she’s going to save the lives of the missing women.
Vampires in America has turned out to be a fantastic series, so far. I'm pretty blown away by the unique world D.B. Reynolds has created in a genre that's been overrun with vampires!

Sweet Cowboy Christmas (Sweet, Texas #3.5) by Candis Terry

SWEET COWBOY CHRISTMAS is a wonderful holiday novella from Candis Terry’s Sweet, Texas series, a series I adore. This story is filled with lots of smiles and sigh-worthy moments that can be found in the love of friends, family, and that ‘special someone’.


Mistletoe, holly, and cowboys, oh my! Christmas in Texas has never been sweeter.

Years ago, Chase Morgan traded in his dusty cowboy boots for the shimmering lights of New York City and a fast track up the corporate ladder. But when his shiny life is turned on end just in time for Christmas, Chase knows he needs to re-evaluate even if that means going home to Texas to endure his least favourite holiday.

When Mr. Tall, Dark, and Smoking Hot walks through her door at the Magic Box Guest Ranch, Faith Walker sees just another handsome, rich exec looking to play cowboy for a week-at her expense. She’s sure the grumpy, but sexy as hell Scrooge will put a crimp in her holly jolly plans. Until a sizzling kiss has her seeing him in a new light.

Chase is haunted by secrets, and even though it goes entirely against her “hands off the guests” rule Faith is tempted to help him leave the past behind. As the magic of the season swirls around them, she is determined to succeed because now she is certain one sweet, cowboy Christmas will never be enough...

My thoughts…

This really is a truly happy, feel good story. Chase’s secrets are haunting, but not daunting. He’s an amazing man who comes to know that, with the love of the right woman, anything is possible – even finding the happily ever after you never dreamed could be yours.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hard to Come By (Hard Ink #3) by Laura Kaye

HARD TO COME BY is the third book in the Hard Ink series, and continues with the team’s efforts to get to the bottom of the ambush that cost them so much. It’s an action packed story and a fantastic read, start to finish.

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn't trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…
My thoughts…

If you’re a fan of military conspiracy/suspense and love sexy tatted heroes, this is the series for you. If you swoon over wounded warriors who risked their lives for the country they love, only to be betrayed by a man they trusted and are now out for revenge, you’ll really want to give this series a go. If you crave all of these things in your romantic suspense reading then you need look no further than Laura Kaye’s amazing Hard Ink series which delivers all of this and more!

Derek DiMarzio is an amazing - and I do mean amazing - man. I love his sense of humor, his honor, his integrity, and his devotion to this team of men who have banded together and are once again risking it all – this time to get to the truth. Emilie has a lot of secrets, but I love that she’s no TSTL heroine, and once she sees what the team is about and what they’re up against, and even though it might cost her dearly, she knows she must do the right thing and help them get the answers they need and deserve.

The bottom line...

Murder, car chases, shoot-outs, explosions, romance and burn up the pages passion… Hard to Come By has it all and has taken this series to a whole new level of amazing!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss and in return I’m giving them an honest review.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

His Mistress by Christmas (Sinful Family Secrets #2) by Victoria Alexander

His Mistress by Christmas is one of those stories that will have you laughing at society's rules and the pompous, self serving 'elite' of the ton. It's a wonderful holiday romance, and a great addition to the Sinful Family Secrets series!

Blurb... For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow--and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him.

Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks--if his family deems him responsible enough. There's no better way to prove his maturity than with a wife. But though Veronica will share his bed, she refuses to marry. However, Sebastian has a plan: An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change Veronica's mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together--in this, and every season to come. . .


This is such a fun historical romance! No angst, no contrived drama here… just a feel good, steamy, delightful holiday tale!

An ARC was received by, and reviewed for, Affaire de Coeur Magazine.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's a Wonderful Fireman (Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #6.5) by Jennifer Bernard

The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel is one of my favorite contemporary series. The stories are fun, romantic, exciting, and definitely hot - and not just in a three alarm fire kind of hot. It's a Wonderful Fireman is the perfect Christmas treat, reminiscent of the holiday classic, It's A Wonderful Life - with a bit of Ebenezer Scrooge thrown in for good measure. It's a quick read, but don't let that fool you - There's a great story packed into the pages of this novella!


Hard-edged fireman Dean Mulligan has never been a big fan of Christmas. Twinkly lights and sparkly tinsel can’t brighten the memories of too many years spent in ramshackle foster homes. Although he’s established himself as one of the top firefighters at San Gabriel Station 1, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for someone like gorgeous Lizzie.

Lizzie Breen is used to fighting—from her alpha male brothers, who try to smother her in the name of safety, to the life-threatening childhood illness she overcame. She knows what she and Mulligan feel for each other is a lot more than a fling, but she can’t get him to see that. The only gift Lizzie wants to give him this season is her love, but he’s not willing to accept it.

When Mulligan is trapped in the burning wreckage of a holiday store, a Christmas angel arrives to open his eyes. But is it too late? This Christmas, it’ll take an angel, a determined woman in love, and the entire Bachelor Firemen crew to make him believe … it is indeed a wonderful life.


If you're looking for a new series to dive into, or just in the mood for a holiday read, this is a great place to start. Though it's not the first in the series, it can easily be read as a stand alone. But be prepared - once you get a taste of these sexy heroes and heroines, you'll want to experience each and every one in their own story.

An ARC of this story was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Intrusion (Under the Skin #1) by Charlotte Stein

Intrusion is a story I had a hard time reading, at the same time not being able to put down. To say it’s gripping is to say the least, and finding the exact words to do this story justice will not be easy.

I believed I would never be able to trust any man again. That kindness was only for fools and would lead me down that same terrible path into darkness. I thought so with every fiber of my being-and then I met Noah Gideon Grant.

Everyone says he's dangerous. He never comes out of his house-a place that looks like it could be featured in Serial Killers Monthly. But the thing is … I think something happened to him too. I know the chemistry between us isn't just in my head. I know he feels it, but he's holding back. The pleasure he gives me is unreal-if only I could give something in return. If only he would let me in. I think I can make him feel something good. And for the first time in forever, I want to.

He's made a labyrinth of himself. Now all I need to do is dare to find my way through.
Reading Intrusion… well, at first I wasn’t sure what in the hell I was getting myself into…

…because this story isn’t at all what I was expecting. This is not my first Charlotte Stein book, but it’s definitely turned out to be my favorite. I want to call it a psychological thriller, but that’s not exactly right. A dark, romantic suspense might be more apropos, but I also have to add it’s one sensually erotic, passionate, poignant, and romantic journey. It’s a tale about two people who, for all intents and purposes, should be ruined, but who find a way to protect themselves by hiding behind the carefully constructed walls of their lonely but comfortable lives. Their journey… and that’s what it is, a journey… to finding their way back into the light is one that will stay with me, and in some ways haunt me, for a very long time.

If you enjoy darker stories about the resiliency of the human heart and the undying hope of the human soul...

...then definitely give Intrusion a try. It’s typical Charlotte Stein in that it’s told from the first person (heroine)POV, with a lot of internal dialog – some of which had me laughing out loud at the absurdity of Beth's thoughts, and other times wanting to weep at the harsh reality of them, too. Such an emotional roller-coaster read!

Note: This story can be read as a stand alone. While there's an ongoing theme, a different couple is the focus of the next book.

An ARC was provided by Red/Avon Impulse via Edelweiss. In return I’m giving them an honest review.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Jabril (Vampires in America #2) by D.B. Reynolds

Jabril is a continuation of book 1, Raphael, and a more brutal, heartless, evil vampire I’ve yet to meet than Jabril. He is not a good guy. He is not redeemable. He is nothing but evil, through and through. And no, I didn’t love him in spite of his flaws as I do so many alpha vamps. The thing is – the title is kind of misleading for most romance fans because while, yes, this is about Jabril, this isn't about him finding his happily ever after. There's no love interest (for him), no poor misunderstood male… he’s just the worse kind of evil, and this is his story.

Houston, Texas-Cowboy boots, baseball and journeys to the stars . . . right? Wrong. Because Houston is also home to Jabril Karim, one of the eight powerful Vampire Lords who control all of North America. And as Private Investigator Cynthia Leighton will soon discover, not all Vampire Lords are created equal. For Jabril is the face of evil in the new world, a vampire who values no life but his own, who enslaves those he desires, steals whatever he covets and destroys anyone who stands in his way.

Running from L.A. and its seductive Vampire Lord, Raphael, Cyn sees the Houston job as a welcome refuge, a place to get away and heal her broken heart. But Texas will be no vacation. For in Jabril Karim, Cyn will confront a true enemy, one who will go to any lengths to satisfy his lusts, enrich his coffers and expand his power. Fighting for the lives of two young sisters, Cyn's journey will take her through the streets of Houston and back to L.A., where the human police are determined to bring Raphael down for the murder of one of their own. But the danger doesn't end there. For Jabril has set his sights on Cyn, and he will stop at nothing to have her.
Okay, so…

Any vampire with half a brain would know that messing with the woman Raphael’s claimed as his will not lead to good things, true, so this story is brutal, gory, harsh, violent… and it’s one of the best vampire stories I’ve ever read. I’m not going to go into much, but trust me on this… if you’re done with (or just need a break from) glittery, ethical vampires, and love to see bad guys go down hard… READ THIS BOOK! But first, you MUST read Raphael to understand the dynamics of this incredible world created by the very talented D.B. Reynolds.

As I said, it's a continuation of Raphael, and I'm happy to report that Raphael and Cyn finally pull their heads outta their rear-ends and are well on their way to their happily ever after!!

Thank the Kindle gods, I have the next several books already loaded and ready to devour!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Raphael (Vampires in America #1) by D.B. Reynolds

It’s an intense and exciting world D.B. Reynolds has created in Malibu, California “-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.” I was sucked (no pun intended) in from the start, and fell madly in lust with the Vampire Lord, Raphael!

Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he'd give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it's too late.

Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who's tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn's happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.

Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.
I’m a vampire hussy born, so to speak, during the days of Twilight-mania and then reared on the streets of Caldwell, NY with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I’m not sure how it is I never read this story – or the series – given that I own the first six or so books. What a travesty, that!

If you’re a fan of Paranormal Romance and Vampires but are tired of the same old done-to-death stories, as I am, then I’ll tell you this… don’t wait another second. Grab this book – well, at the least the first two books – and prepare to be WOW’d!

Though, I do have to admit/warn that I was left with my mouth hanging open when I discovered that, despite the attraction and intense sexual chemistry between Raphael and Cyn, there's no happily ever after in this book. But according to my dear friend, Karla, that is resolved in book two which is why I say you need to have both books on hand.

But seriously, it’s not often I’m left desperate for the next book in a series, but I was this time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sleigh Bells in Valentine Valley (Valentine Valley #5) by Emma Cane

Sleigh Bells in Valentine Valley is the 5th book in Emma Cane's Valentine Valley series. These are small town, contemporary romance stories with lots of heart and plenty of steam. This time it's Tony and Kate's turn to shine, and to get a second shot at love.

When Tony De Luca's ex, Kate Fenelli, waltzes through the door of his tavern and pulls up a bar stool, she turns his balanced world on end. Once they'd been each other's first love, first everything. But then life happened, and they walked away with broken hearts. Now Kate is back in Valentine, and they can't seem to stay out of each other's way. When Tony begins wondering what would happen if they rekindled the sparks, he knows he's in big trouble.

Kate can't believe she's sitting at Tony's bar spilling her life-changing problems to him. He's as gorgeous as ever, and she can't seem to forget how incredible he always made her feel. Still, the door on that chapter of their lives closed long ago. Yet with Christmas buzzing in the air, Kate can't help wondering if anything is possible—even a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.
My thoughts...

Sleigh Bells in Valentine Valley is my first taste of Emma Cane's writing, and I truly enjoy the way she tells a story. The situation Tony and Kate find themselves in is completely unexpected, with their feelings for one another returning in a big way, and that makes for a poignant, romantic, sexy read! And while their happily ever after is a long time in coming and doesn't come easy,  it's definitely wonderful!!!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss.   

Friday, October 31, 2014

Christmas at Twilight (Twilight, Texas #5) by Lori Wilde

CHRISTMAS AT TWILIGHT is one of the most emotional holiday stories I've read. It's poignant, angsty, and heartbreaking, but it's also hopeful and joyous! Meredith and Hutch are two amazing people who get more than Christmas magic, they get a miracle - the kind that comes from finding your soul mate, just when you thought you'd forever be alone.

The blurb...

It's Christmas in Twilight, Texas. The Cookie Club is baking, the town is decorated, and Delta Force Operator "Hutch" Hutchinson has finally, reluctantly, returned home . . .

. . . only to get pepper sprayed by the delicious- looking stranger who's taken over his house. She says her name is Jane, and she immediately sets down ground rules. Top priority: no touching. For Hutch that isn't easy—he was wounded in action, but one part is still working very well.

Then Hutch learns the truth. Jane harbors a frightening secret—she's really Meredith Sommers, on the run from a dangerous ex-husband and desperately in need of the safety Hutch can provide. In that moment, he vows he'd do anything in his power to protect her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer the past and overcome any obstacle—but what price will they pay?

My thoughts...

It seems to me that more often than not Christmas themed romances are on the lighter side, with minimal angst and a sweet happily ever after. It's what I've come to expect, and what I look forward to in my holiday reads. That said, Christmas At Twilight is not light, and while there's angst, it's the real life, to-be-expected kind of angst that military men and women live with after serving their country with honor. And yet, while it's not what I expected, not what I look forward to, I loved every minute I spent reading!

Such an exciting, romantic, and passionate story! But best of all, Hutch and Meredith's happily ever after was hard fought, well deserved, and a truly beautiful thing.

Note: This is the 5th book in the Twilight, Texas series but works very well as a stand alone.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hard To Hold On To (Hard Ink #2.5) by Laura Kaye


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.


HARD TO HOLD ON TO is... ugly and beautiful, achingly sad but poignantly uplifting... there's a lot of emotion packed into this short story. I'll never forget Easy and Jenna ... all they endured and all they have, and have yet, to conquer!

A copy of this book was provided by Avon Books. In return I'm giving them an honest review.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Night Belongs to Fireman (Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel #6) by Jennifer Bernard

THE BACHELOR FIREMEN OF SAN GABRIEL is one of my favorite series. I love the stories, the passion, the humor, the people, the firefighter family...I love everything about it, and books like The Night Belongs To Fireman is why!


Daring . . . Sexy . . . Irresistible . . .
They're the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel

When fireman Fred Breen rescues a bachelorette party after a construction crane collapses onto their limo, the media labels him the "Bachelor Hero." But all Fred can think about is the petite brunette with the sexy mane of dark curls who bolted away from him faster than a wildfire after he carried her to safety. And when he discovers she's none other than Rachel Kessler, the daughter of a tech billionaire, the girl whose kidnapping riveted the nation, he intends to learn every intimate detail about this intriguing woman who sets his pulse on fire.

Rachel can't deny the lean-muscled firefighter is smokin' hot. But after having one too many drinks at the bar where she first meets him, Rachel knows she's made a fool of herself. Yet when he rescues her from the limo, she feels safe for the first time since she was held for ransom as a child. Then her overprotective father insists Fred be her bodyguard—and his close presence kindles a burning desire that only he can extinguish.


Jennifer Bernard puts a lot of research into these stories, as well as a lot of heart and soul. I find myself always drawn in and enjoying every minute spent reading about these brave, selfless, very hot firemen.

Fred is probably the most down-to-earth man in the series. He's not tortured or tormented, but not exactly self assured. I mean, yeah, he knows his job and does it well, but with a father and brothers who served the military, he sometimes feels like he's not quite enough. But trust me, Fred's got it goin' on. In a big way!

Rachel - I really like her! She's had a sheltered life, but she's not naive. She's a caring, compassionate woman and yeah, I really like her. Especially the way she loves Fred with her entire being...the same way he loves her.


Okay, I'm getting all mushy now so I'll close this down except to say, if you enjoy fun, sexy, sometimes poignant contemporary romance with real alpha males, do yourself a favor and read these books! I know you'll be glad you did!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Last Hero Standing Book Blitz Tour

Welcome to my blog, and my stop on the LAST HERO STANDING BOOK BLITZ TOUR, to help Pamela Clare beat breast cancer. (Read on for more information)  I'm thrilled and honored to be part of this special event, and just as thrilled and honored to be spotlighting one of the amazing authors, Stephanie Rowe! Be sure to read the exciting excerpt from her story, ICE, then scroll down to read more about LAST HERO STANDING and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card to the online bookseller of your choice! Note: This contest is open to international participants.

A little about Stephanie Rowe: 

Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner, Stephanie Rowe, is a nationally bestselling author. She has published more than forty novels, including her bestselling paranormal and vampire romances, her gripping Alaska Heat romantic suspense series, and her passionate Ever After contemporary series.

Author Extras :

1. How has cancer touched you personally?
My father died of cancer when I was 24, three weeks before my wedding. He was one of the most amazing people ever, and he died because, despite his being sick for a year, his doctors didn't diagnose the cancer until it the very end, when it was too late. Every day I wish he was still here. Cancer is a grueling disease emotionally and financially, and I wish I could eradicate it from the world.

2. Why did you participate in the LAST HERO STANDING fundraiser for fellow author Pamela Clare?
Being worried about finances is debilitating on its own, but when you're fighting for your life, the added weight of financial strain can rob you of those last shreds of energy and hope you need for healing. I really wanted to support Pamela, both as an author and as a person, to enable her to focus solely on healing herself, and not on worrying about how she was going to pay for treatments or support herself financially. She is an incredible woman who brightens the world around her with her courage, her love, and her books, and I wanted to do anything I could to help her in her battle.

Connect with Stephanie and learn more about her and her books at: 

Author’s Website:
Twitter: @StephanieRowe2

An excerpt from ICE by Stephanie Rowe:

Kaylie's hands were shaking as she rifled through her bag, searching for her yoga pants. She needed the low-slung black ones with a light pink stripe down the side. The cuffs were frayed from too many wearings to the grocery store late at night for comfort food, and they were her go-to clothes when she couldn't cope. Like now.

She couldn't find them.

"Come on!" Kaylie grabbed her other suitcase and dug through it, but they weren't there. "Stupid pants! I can't—" A sob caught at her throat and she pressed her palms to her eyes, trying to stifle the swell of grief. "Sara—"

Her voice was a raw moan of pain, and she sank to the thick shag carpet. She bent over as waves of pain, of loneliness, of utter grief shackled her. For her parents, her brother, her family and now Sara—

Dear God, she was all alone.

"Dammit, Kaylie! Get up!" she chided herself. She wrenched herself to her feet. "I can do this." She grabbed a pair of jeans and a silk blouse off the top of her bag and turned toward the bathroom. One step at a time. A shower would make her feel better.

She walked into the tiny bathroom, barely noticing the heavy wood door as she stepped inside and flicked the light switch. Two bare light bulbs flared over her head, showing a rustic bathroom with an ancient footed tub and a raw wood vanity with a battered porcelain sink. A tiny round window was on her right. It was small enough to keep out the worst of the cold, but big enough to let in some light and breeze in the summer.

She was in Alaska, for sure. God, what was she doing here?

Kaylie tossed the clean clothes on the sink and unzipped her jacket, dropping it on the floor. She tugged all her layers off, including the light blue sweater that had felt so safe this morning when she'd put it on. She stared grimly at her black lace bra, so utterly feminine, exactly the kind of bra that her mother had always considered frivolous and completely impractical. Which it was. Which was why that was the only style Kaylie ever wore.

She should never have come to Alaska. She didn't belong here. She couldn't handle this. Kaylie gripped the edge of the sink. Her hands dug into the wood as she fought against the urge to curl into a ball and cry.

After a minute, Kaylie lifted her head and looked at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were wide and scared, with dark circles beneath. Her hair was tangled and flattened from her wool hat. There was dirt caked on her cheeks.

Kaylie rubbed her hand over her chin, and the streaks of mud didn't come off.
She tried again, then realized she had smudges all over her neck. She turned on the water, and wet her hands…and saw her hands were covered as well.

Stunned, Kaylie stared as the water ran over her hands, turning pink as it swirled in the basin.

Not dirt.

Sara's blood.

"Oh, God." Kaylie grabbed a bar of soap and began to scrub her hands. But the blood was dried, stuck to her skin. "Get off!" She rubbed frantically, but the blackened crust wouldn't come off. Her lungs constricted and she couldn't breathe. "I can't—"

The door slammed open, and Cort stood behind her, wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

The tears burst free at the sight of Cort, and Kaylie held up her hands to him. "I can't get it off—"

"I got it." Cort took her hands and held them under the water, his grip warm and strong. "Take a deep breath, Kaylie. It's okay."

"It's not. It won't be." She leaned her head against his shoulder, closing her eyes as he washed her hands roughly and efficiently. His muscles flexed beneath her cheek, his skin hot through his shirt. Warm. Alive. "Sara's dead," she whispered. "My parents. My brother. They're all gone. The blood—" Sobs broke free again, and she couldn't stop the trembling.

"I know. I know, babe." He pulled her hands out from under the water and grabbed a washcloth. He turned her toward him and began to wash her face and neck.

His eyes were troubled, his mouth grim. But his hands were gentle where he touched her, gently holding her face still while he scrubbed. His gaze flicked toward hers, and he held contact for a moment, making her want to fall into those brown depths and forget everything. To simply disappear into the energy that was him. "You have to let them go," he said. "There's nothing you can do to bring them back—"

"No." A deep ache pounded at Kaylie's chest and her legs felt like they were too weak to support her.
"I can't. Did you see Sara? And Jackson? His throat—" She bent over, clutching her stomach. "I—"

Cort's arms were suddenly around her, warm and strong, pulling her against his solid body. Kaylie fell into him, the sobs coming hard, the memories—

"I know." Cort's whisper was soft, his hand in her hair, crushing her against him. "It sucks. Goddamn, it sucks."

Kaylie heard his grief in the raw tone of his voice and realized his body was shaking as well. She looked up and saw a rim of red around his eyes, shadows in the hollows of his whiskered cheeks. "You know," she whispered, knowing with absolute certainty that he did. He understood the grief consuming her.

"Yeah." He cupped her face, staring down at her, his grip so tight it was almost as desperate as she felt. She could feel his heart beating against her nearly bare breasts, the rise of his chest as he breathed, the heat of his body warming the deathly chill from hers.

For the first time in forever, she suddenly didn't feel quite as alone.

In her suffering, she had company. Someone who knew. Who understood. Who shared her pain. It had been so long since the dark cavern surrounding her heart had lessened, since she hadn't felt consumed by the loneliness, but with Cort holding her…there was a flicker of light in the darkness trying to take her. "Cort—"

He cleared his throat. "I gotta go check the chili." He dropped his hands from her face and stood up to go, pulling away from her.

Without his touch, the air felt cold and the anguish returned full force. Kaylie caught his arm. "Don't go—" She stopped, not sure what to say, what to ask for. All she knew was that she didn't want him to leave, and she didn't want him to stop holding her.

Cort turned back to her, and a muscle ticked in his cheek.

For a moment, they simply stared at each other. She raised her arms. "Hold me," she whispered. "Please."

He hesitated for a second, and then his hand snaked out and he shackled her wrist. He yanked once, and she tumbled into him. Their bodies smacked hard as he caught her around the waist, his hands hot on her bare back.

She threw her arms around his neck and sagged into him. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly against him. With only her bra and his T-shirt between them, the heat of his body was like a furnace, numbing her pain. His name slipped out in a whisper, and she pressed her cheek against his chest. She focused on his masculine scent. She took solace in the feel of another human's touch, in the safety of being held in arms powerful enough to ward off the grief trying to overtake her.

His hand tunneled in her hair, and he buried his face in the curve of her neck, his body shaking against hers.

"Cort—" She started to lift her head to look at him, to see if he was crying, but he tightened his grip on her head, forcing her face back to his chest, refusing to allow her to look at him.

Keeping her out.

Isolating her.

She realized he wasn't a partner in her grief. She was alone, still alone, always alone.

All the anguish came cascading back. Raw loneliness surged again, and she shoved away from him as sobs tore at her throat. She couldn't deal with being held by him when the sense of intimacy was nothing but an illusion. "Leave me alone."

Kaylie whirled away from him, keeping her head ducked. She didn't want to look at him. She needed space to find her equilibrium again and rebuild her foundation.

"Damn it, Kaylie." Cort grabbed her arm and spun her back toward him.

She held up her hands to block him, her vision blurred by the tears streaming down her face. "Don't—"

His arms snapped around her and he hauled her against him even as she fought his grip. "No! Leave me alone—"

His mouth descended on hers.

Not a gentle kiss.

A kiss of desperation and grief and need. Of the need to control something. Of raw human passion for life, for death, for the touch of another human being.

And it broke her.

More information and purchase links for the LAST HERO STANDING collection! (Be sure to scroll down for the Rafflecopter giveaway!)

Book Blurb:

Authors donate to anthology to raise money for colleague stricken with breast cancer
Eleven authors have donated their work to a box set of novellas to raise money for the medical expenses of a colleague stricken with breast cancer. The LAST HERO STANDING box set, which is set to release on Oct. 28, features 11 novels and novellas for only 99 cents, including a bonus short story from New York Times bestseller Dianna Love. All the proceeds from sales of the box set will go toward the medical expenses of USA Today bestselling author Pamela Clare, who was diagnosed with breast cancer this past April and has been unable to work since then.



Enjoy 11 emotional stories - 2000 pages filled with all types of heroes from small town to international action-adventure who earn and protect those they love. Over 360 reviews with a 4.5 star rating!!!

PLEASE NOTE: This box set will be available for ONE MONTH ONLY, and all proceeds go directly to the medical fund for box set author Pamela Clare, who is in the midst of her own battle with breast cancer. Everyone who touched this project donated their time and stories. Please help us help her by treating yourself and your friends to a box set full of great stories!

New York Times Bestseller Dianna Love
KISS THE ENEMY, a Slye Temp novel
"It seems with each book, this series gets better..."

New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Eden
“Plenty of passion to fan yourself but also enough make you swoon.” –So Many Reads

New York Times Bestseller Elisabeth Naughton
FIRST EXPOSURE, an Aegis Security prequel novella
“This series is off to an explosive start.”

New York Times Bestseller Joan Swan
SINFUL DECEPTION, a Renegades novel
"Another fast-paced, action-packed, sexy Covert Affairs story!"

New York Times Bestseller Bonnie Vanak
"Highly recommend to anyone who likes steamy, sexy novels."

USA Today Bestseller Pamela Clare
FIRST STRIKE, an I-Team novella
“If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, you must read Pamela Clare!”

USA Today Bestseller Mary Buckham
INVISIBLE FEARS, an Invisible Recruits novel
“The powerful descriptive ability this author displays raises the bar for Urban Fantasy!”

USA Today Bestseller Adrienne Giordano
THE EVASION, a Justifiable Cause Novella
"Adrienne Giordano delivers everything romantic suspense readers want…"

USA Today Bestseller Norah Wilson
NIGHTFALL, A Vampire Romance Novel
" edge of your seat series."

Award-Winning Author Stephanie Rowe
ICE, an Alaska Heat novel
“ICE delivers pulse-pounding chills and hot romance!”

Award-winning Author Tracey Devlyn
LATYMER, a Nexus novella
"Powerful…and gripping."

Purchase Links:
Amazon Kindle:
Barnes & Noble Nook:
Apple iBooks:


Thank you all for stopping by, and remember - not only is this a great collection, it's an important cause!  Remember to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway, and GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Silent Night by C.J. Kyle

SILENT NIGHT ISN'T MY USUAL TYPE OF READ, but I'm so glad I decided to give it a go. It's an intense, gruesome, psychological thriller, one that kept me guessing and turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning.


Christmas, Tennessee, is a town where no one locks their doors and the worst crime is a stolen bicycle. Until the night blood is found . . . but there's no body.

Police Chief Tucker Ambrose hopes it's just a prank, but his years as a cop in Chicago tell him different. Then a body is discovered in the middle of the woods, staged with a bible, a crucifix, and a rosary . . . and Tucker knows something dark and sinister has arrived in his town.

Miranda Harley knows exactly what's going on. In fact, she's been tracking this serial killer, hoping to gather enough evidence to convict him. Trouble is, no one will believe her, not even the sexy police chief whose heated gazes promise nights of sin. But when Miranda falls into the crosshairs of a psychopath, Tucker must put aside his doubts and race to stop the killer from striking again.

My review...

Silent Night is my first taste of C.J. Kyle's writing and, while it's not perfect, it's an exciting, fast paced, riveting story that had me locking my car doors while waiting for my daughter to finish up in Target, and checking the doors and windows in my house when she and I got home.

There's definitely a romance here, but it does take a backseat to the murder mystery. That's understandable given the twists and turns and amount of time our hero, the sheriff, has to spend hunting this serial killer.

Just a word of warning to the squeamish amongst us, the murders and crime scenes are pretty disturbing, so keep this in mind should you decide to give this a try, and if you're a fan of crime thrillers, I highly recommend you do!

An eARC was provided by Avon Books and Edelweiss, and in return I'm giving them an honest review.