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.