Romance Books

#BookReview – “Twisted Lies” by C.B. Clark

Blurb

Athena Cooper’s tragic past drives her to seek solace in a bottle. The addiction threatens her legal career, and she risks spiraling out of control. When her dog engineers a meeting with an all-too-handsome hunk, it’s lust at first sight…until she discovers his identity.

Businessman Russell Crawford is desperate to find the woman who cheated him out of his inheritance. His shock when she turns out to be the gorgeous red head he had a brief encounter with is only surpassed when she claims his father was a murderer.

Athena and Russ declare a truce and join forces to investigate the mystery of her parents’ disappearance from an isolated island off the rugged Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Russ promises to be her safe harbor as they uncover long-buried secrets that rock her very foundation. Can she overcome a lifelong distrust and open her heart to love? 

Review

Athena is struggling to get her life together. She’s been in hiding since she was a child and turned to alcohol to deaden her pain. She’s now twenty-one days sober, but an unexpected letter knocks her off the wagon.

Russell Crawford wants to find the woman who he believes stole his inheritance. His departed father has left his fortune to Athena, and Russ is determined to get it back.

I really enjoyed this story. Athena is a real, hurting, flawed, strong woman who’s suffered a great deal. I felt her pain and sympathized with her. Russ has had a difficult life, too, but the story mostly focuses on Athena’s pain and the mystery of parents’ highly publicized disappearance.

Otis, Athena’s dog, is by far the best character in the book. He has such a personality! OMG. I adore him!

There were a couple twists, a few of which I guessed early on, but others surprised me. One of the twists completely threw me (sorry—no spoilers here!), but man, it packs a hard punch. Athena has dealt with so much sorrow and lies throughout her life that it’s no wonder she turned to alcohol.

The pacing was fast and kept my attention. There’s a lot of description, so I could easily visualize the scenes, but I was a little confused during the “big reveal.” (I had to put the book down for a few minutes to sort through all the lies and half-truths to figure out what really happened to Athena’s parents. Believe me, the truth is a doozy.)

I’ve always enjoyed Ms. Clark’s writing, and this one was no different. For lovers of romantic suspense or romance mysteries, give this book a try.

5 Stars

Romance Books

#BookReview – “Heart of a Highlander” by Collette Cameron

Blurb

How can she love the man responsible for her husband’s death?

A lonely widow far from home… When Frenchwoman Giselle McTavish married a Scotsman, she never expected to be widowed and left to bring up their son alone. Nonetheless, she’s determined the next laird will be raised in Scotland. Even though Highlander Hugh Ferguson-the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death-also lives at Craiglocky Keep. As time passes, she struggles to overcome loneliness and homesickness as well as fight the warm feelings Hugh now stirs.

A warrior consumed with guilt… Hugh has loved Giselle almost from the moment he laid eyes on her. But as the wife-then widow-of his dearest friend, she’s forbidden fruit. He refuses to act on his feelings for her, especially since she’s never shown any romantic interest in him. But that changes one providential Valentine’s Day when he risks everything by using Scottish folklore and legend to at last proclaim his love…

Review

It’s Valentine’s Day in the late 18th century Scotland. Though Giselle McTavish misses her departed husband, the Laird of Craiglocky, she can’t help but fantasize about Hugh Ferguson, a chivalrous Highland warrior and her husband’s best friend. She’s raising her young son alone, but Hugh is a father figure to the boy. With a few Scottish traditions and shared, passionate yearning, Giselle and Hugh discover a love both wanted but never expected.

What a sweet story! The characters are likable and well-developed even though this is a short story. I’ll definitely check out more of Ms. Cameron’s work.

4 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books

#BookReview – “Warrior Ascended” by Addison Fox

Blurb

Charming, proud, and impulsive, Leo Warrior Brody Talbot is fighting what may be his final battle. Enyo, the Goddess of War, plans to fulfill an ancient prophecy to destroy humanity by harnessing the dark power of the Summoning Stones of Egypt. There’s only one person who knows enough about the stones to help Brody stop her-beautiful museum curator Ava Harrison.

Never in all his centuries has Brody met a woman who enthralls him like Ava. But, bound to protect her, he struggles to deny his passion as they are drawn into a dark and dangerous final reckoning between good and evil.

Review

In the first Sons of the Zodiac novel, immortal warrior Brody Talbot is on an archaeological dig in Egypt. Ten thousand years ago, he swore to Themis, the Greek goddess of justice, to protect humanity, and in exchange she gave him a wide range of supernatural gifts, so he could serve as a Warrior. Now, he needs to discover the ancient prophecy that surrounds five mysterious, magical stones. After two people on the dig team are murdered, he finally uncovers the meaning of the prophecy and seeks out the Chosen One, the one person who can control the stones.

Museum curator Ava Harrison hates the Summoning Stones, especially the one in her exhibit. After she’s attacked and then rescued by a gorgeous man with lots of secrets, she knows her life will never be the same.

I couldn’t connect with Ava and Brody, but I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Quinn—the sexy, stubborn computer guy who tries to run the Warriors’ operations. I didn’t notice any typos—that’s always a plus—but the pacing was slow at times, and some of the scenes needed more description. I think the book would’ve worked better as a novella. The plot about the magical stones was definitely interesting, but it just needed to be tighter.

3 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “True Alpha Christmas” by Alisa Woods

Blurb

When sexy alpha Lucas rescued Mia and claimed her for his mate, that magic bound them for life—but there’s still no ring on her finger. When Mia’s shifter-hating mother meets her wolfishly-hot investor “boyfriend,” Mia’s one Christmas wish is to keep the holidays from going to hell.

Review

Even though this book has been retitled as “A Christmas Wish” in the Dot Com Wolves series, my review is for an earlier edition when it was titled “True Alpha Christmas” in the Shifters in Seattle series.

Wolf couple Lucas Sparks and Mia Fiore are happily mated and still working as boss and intern, respectively, at SparkTech. Though all the wolf shifters they work with know they’re a couple, Lucas and Mia are hiding their relationship from their human clients, which is really starting to grate on Mia’s nerves. She wants Lucas to properly marry her in the way of humans, but he doesn’t seem interested in doing so. On top of that, Mia’s mother despises Lucas and shifters altogether, and she doesn’t even know her own daughter is one. When the truth comes out, Mia fears her happy life will never be the same.

This is a cute novella and a good conclusion for Mia and Lucas’s HEA, but I’m not sure why it’s not tacked on at the end of their official book. It answers a few questions that were left hanging at the end of book 1, so that was nice. Though I thought Mia was pretty irresponsible by not giving either her mom or Lucas a heads up about what to expect when first meeting each other, the ending was still very sweet and romantic.

As for the secondary characters that played big roles in book 1, Lev falls in love, which was super awesome. Colin is going through a rough patch, but maybe Jupiter is just the woman he needs. Unfortunately, Colin and Jupiter’s relationship wasn’t elaborated on or made official.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book but recommend reading book 1, True Alpha, first to better understand it.

4 Stars

— Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “True Alpha” by Alisa Woods

Blurb

Can a broken Alpha save her from the Big Bad wolves?

Lucas has lost his mate, and he’ll never claim another—his kind of broken can’t be fixed. He’s still alpha enough to rescue a young woman from the predatory Red wolf pack, but when she shows up at his office—as his sexy new intern—she stirs up feelings that need to stay buried…

Mia’s just trying to earn her degree and dig her way out of poverty. Keeping her shifter nature secret is key, but her internship at the hottest dot-com development firm in Seattle also has the hottest boss… and he’s a wolf. Who just happened to save her life.

She’d break all the rules for this guy—except he wants nothing to do with her. And the wolves who do are the Big Bad Wolf kind. The kind she’s always heard about.

Mia’s in the middle of a pack war with nowhere to turn… but to the one guy who doesn’t want her at all.

Review

Even though this book has been retitled as “Claiming Mia” and is now in the Dot Com Wolves series, my review is for an earlier edition when it was titled “True Alpha” in the Shifters in Seattle series.

College student Mia Fiore focuses on school during the day and works nights as a bartender at a club, determined to make life better for her and her mom. But she has a secret no one knows, not even her beloved mother: Mia is a wolf shifter, and she knows almost nothing about her heritage. When three men accost her outside the club, she never expected them to also be wolves, and that another man—another wolf—would save her.

After the tragic death of his mate, Lucas Sparks gave up his pack and just goes through the motions of living while he works for his father’s dot.com business. His father’s pack and the Red wolf pack are enemies both professionally and personally, and when Lucas catches three Red wolves preying on an innocent human woman, he steps in and saves her, and inadvertently starts a pack war. Though he never expected to see Mia again after saving her life, she shows up at his dad’s business as the new intern. The heat between them boils over into a passionate affair, but then he discovers her secret. Lust binds them together, but he’s still broken after losing his mate.

Mia and Lucas are awesome. He gave her the family and the feeling of belonging that she and her wolf have always longed for, and Mia helped him heal from his pain and become both a better man and wolf. Though she’s a strong woman, she occasionally made foolish choices, but that’s to be expected since she’s only 21 (Lucas is 26).

This story has a great cast of secondary characters. I really liked Lucas’s fun-loving beta, his brother Lev. Colin, Lucas’s rival for Mia’s affection, was totally yummy. Jak is a good guy, but he’s from the corrupt Red pack (I’m definitely interested in learning more about him). I wish the bad guy, Mace, would’ve been properly dealt with, but I think he plays a big role in book 2 (Jak’s book), so hopefully he’ll face justice then. Mia’s human friend and college roommate Jupiter was funny and often lightened up tense situations. I don’t know why Lucas’s father never had a name, but his character was interesting too.

Though I liked the story a lot, the constant description of scenery and emotions slowed the pacing. It’s well written, but there were a few minor typos and loose ends not tied up.

This book was originally released as a six-part serial, but all the parts are included in this collection. The third book in the series, ‘True Alpha Christmas,’ continues Mia and Lucas’s HEA. I’ll be reading that next.

4 Stars

Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “Prince Hudson” by Lily Cahill

Blurb

Billionaire bear shifter Hudson Royce has learned to keep women at arms-length. He’s been used before, and protecting his privacy is a top priority. Besides, he’s too busy running one of the most powerful corporations in Chicago to waste his time on real relationships. But when a chance encounter with a bold, curvaceous stranger has him believing in fated love, he’ll stop at nothing to make her his.

Ballsy businesswoman Kay Hennessy wasn’t sure she’d ever set foot back in Chicago after her ex cheated on her and broke her heart. When she finally revives her courage, she returns to the city only to be courted by the man who once devastated her. Chase wants her back, and she’s ready to consider his proposal until she meets a sexy billionaire who may have a few extra talents she didn’t even know were possible.

Little do either of them know that Hudson is really a shifter prince who can’t take the throne without a mate. And an opposing clan will do anything to keep him away … even if it means killing the person he loves most.

Review

In the first novella of the Alpha Bear Princes series, a rival clan of bears have murdered the emperor of the bear shifter community, so the empress has no other choice but to send their four sons away to live in secret without any knowledge of who they truly are. The young princes can only return and claim their birthright once they have made a successful life for themselves, and they must have found their mate.

Thirty years later…

Kay Hennessey awaits Chase, her ex-boyfriend, at a hotel bar. Even though she’s an intelligent, career-driven woman, she believes she’s lacking in the beauty department, and her fragile self-esteem falls even lower when she realizes Chase stood her up. Then she sees Hudson Royce, a gorgeous and successful real estate CEO, across the bar. But a short, chunky woman like her couldn’t hope to attract a man like him. Or so she thinks.

At first sight, Hudson knows the woman is his mate. As a bear shifter, he can sense it, and he’s completely enamored with her. After a wonderful night together, a misunderstanding drives her away, but Hudson always get what he wants—and he won’t let Kay avoid him for long.

I really enjoyed this book. Both characters seem to be genuinely good people with flaws like everyone else. Kay’s confidence grows, and Hudson learns he can be loved for who he is, not what’s in his bank account.

The story flowed smoothly, but I wish it had been longer to better tie up some plot points (such as, Kay’s relationship with her parents). There were some typos, which were a little distracting, and I found it odd that Hudson referred to his adoptive parents as “stepparents.”

Anyway, it’s a great story, and I’d love to learn more about his brothers in the later books.

4 Stars

Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “Blue Ridge Fear” by Robin Weaver

Blurb

Can things get any worse? After an intimate relationship with her former boss sours, Sienna Sanders is slapped with a lawsuit for breach of contract. Broke and jobless, she moves in with her airhead cousin in a too-small mountain cabin–their joint inheritance. But things get worse when a hiking misstep leaves Sienna stranded. That is, until a hunky stranger comes to her rescue. A zing of attraction has her thinking he might be the one. But there’s a psycho stalking the area who’s already killed four women–women who look a lot like Sienna. Her stranger insists his name is Carson Addison, but Sienna discovers that isn’t true. Plus, her dreamboat protector, a.k.a. possible stalker, only materializes when she’s alone. Can she trust her heart and believe he’s not a killer? Or is she making herself an easy target for the monster lurking in the mountains? 

Review

In order to receive their inheritance from their late uncle, Sienna Sanders and her estranged cousin Bethany must live in the same mountain cabin with each other for a full year. After Sienna twists her ankle in the woods, she waits alone while her cousin goes to find help. A mysterious man comes to her rescue, but when Bethany returns with two park rangers in tow, her rescuer disappears.

Carson Addison bought the house next door to Sienna’s to keep an eye on her. He only talks to her when she’s alone, and he even breaks into her home. Though he knows his actions are scaring her, he refuses to answer her questions and laughs off her accusations. He flirts with her to keep her unbalanced, and their mutual desire for each other draws the attention of a serial killer.

I couldn’t connect with either the H/h. Sienna lets her cousin walk all over her, and she kept making foolish, life-threatening mistakes. Carson has very little back-story, so the reader learns nothing about his life.

The story was mostly told in Sienna’s POV, but occasionally in Carson’s, the killer’s, and in Bethany’s. There were a few typos, repetition, and unanswered questions. I liked the mystery/suspense aspect, but the romance part was light, which I found disappointing.

3 Stars

Have you read this book? I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” by Maggie Shayne

Blurb

In “Everything She Does is Magick,” a trio of matchmaking witches chooses unsuspecting little Nathan McBride as the perfect mate for their baby niece. The future looks rosy indeed, except for one little catch: they must keep him a virgin!…A lady private eye on the run from some dangerous gangsters invokes a spell of protection in a fit of desperation–and conjures up a dashing musketeer looking for his damsel in distress in “Musketeer By Moonlight.”…And in “The Con and the Crusader,” Jack McCain jumps into a well-and into the past. Mistaken for a criminal, he’s headed for prison, until he’s freed-with a wedding proposal!

Review

There are three novellas in this anthology.

In “Everything She Does is Magick,” witch healer Aurora Sortilege works as a doctor in the ER. Raised by her eccentric aunts, she’s used to many of the town’s residents calling her names and being afraid of her. Though few people actually believe the Sortilege women are witches, they certainly like to spread cruel gossip about the women. Worst of all is Nathan McBride, the boy who lived next door to Aurora when she was growing up, and the secret object of Aurora’s affections.

Nathan never liked Aurora, but that stemmed from jealously, not his honest feelings. After years of no contact with her, he winds up in the ER after yet another failed attempt at wooing and bedding a woman. Desperate to lose his status as a twenty-nine-year-old virgin, he asks Aurora for help, but their past animosity and present tension drives a continuous wedge between them. Still he’s convinced his malady has something to do with Aurora, and he has no idea how right he is.

I really enjoyed this story. Nathan and Aurora are such likable characters. They often bickered and bantered with each other, but you can easily see the love and affection beneath their acidic barbs. Aurora’s aunts are quite awesome, and I loved how they manipulated the H/h into fulfilling their destiny.

4 Stars

In “Musketeer by Moonlight,” Mary Catherine Hammersmith, better known as MC Hammer, runs her own private investigation firm, and she’d accidentally taped a phone conversation about a gangland hit. Now she’s on the run from a mobster and takes refuge at her aunt’s house on Halloween night. Even though Aunt Kate is a witch, MC doesn’t believe in witchcraft but performs a protection spell, anyway, just for fun. After the smoke clears, she meets the type of man she’d thought she wanted.

Alexandre is a Musketeer from 1400s France and chivalrous to a fault. Once he finally realizes he’s traveled through time, he vows to help MC, a fair lady in need, and then return home. MC helps him adapt to the modern world, and a love neither expected quickly blooms between them.

Wow. I love this story. There’s romance, humor, and action. MC is a great female lead. She’s strong and smart, but in way over her head. Alexandre is dashing, suave, and mouthwatering sexy. Their strength blends together, and they mutually respect one another.

5 Stars

In “The Con and the Crusader,” pioneer widow Emily Hawkins lost her husband a few months earlier, and she has to pay the final mortgage on the farm by harvest time, or she’ll lose everything. But Emily and her two children (her departed sister’s children) can’t do all the work by themselves. She needs a husband to plow and harvest the fields, but she wants it to be a business arrangement. To have control in the marriage, she needs to find a man bound for prison, one who would be at her whim.

Modern man Jack McCain has always shied away from hard work—something his departed witch grandmother had always chastised him for—and he likes to con criminals out of their money. As Jack runs through the woods to try and escape the goons chasing him, he comes across a magic well and accidentally falls down it. After making a wish to survive and in turn work harder than he ever had in his life, he winds up in the year 1890 and bound for prison. Emily picks him to be her husband, and he finds himself strapped to ready-made family and a farm. But Emily needs a strong, honest man, and Jack doesn’t know if he’s up for the task.

I soooooo love this story. Emily is strong and determined, but so blind to love and her own worth as a beautiful, desirable woman. Jack is so damn smart and conniving, but he matured a lot throughout the story and learned the meaning of responsibility. I really enjoyed these characters.

5 Stars

The novellas are well written in duel POVs. The sex scenes were brief but romantic. There are a few typos in each story, but nothing major. Maggie Shayne is one of my favorite authors, and I look forward to reading more of her books.

Book Overall – 5 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “Never Let Go” by Selena Fulton

Blurb

Kendra Prescott, a high-powered Atlanta real estate broker, is sent to England to coax the owner to sell a beautiful cottage. Family portraits line the stairway, and Kendra finds one man, Benjamin Sheffield, fascinating. Too bad he lived almost two centuries ago.

In 1863, Benjamin Sheffield escaped England because of a trumped-up murder charge. He came to America to disappear in the vast Western frontier but was delayed by a little thing called the War Between The States.

When Kendra trips on a rock and loses consciousness, she wakes in the middle of Civil War-torn Georgia. She doesn’t know what happened to the cottage, but when she sees Ben, she realizes he is the key, her only chance of returning to her own time. Trouble is, now that she’s met him, she isn’t sure she wants to.

Review

Kendra Prescott’s life revolves around her work as a buyer for an Atlanta real estate company, and she goes to England to meet with the owner of a picturesque cottage in hopes of making a deal. While at the cottage, she finds an old family portrait of a gorgeous man from the 1800s, and then she takes a tumble down a hill and hits her head. When she wakes up, she finds a man standing over her with a gun in his hand.

Benjamin Sheffield left his home in England and is now fighting in the American Civil War, in 1865. His honor demands he help the strangely dressed woman he found in the mud, but her attitude and sensual appeal tries his manners and patience. Though he doesn’t really believe her outrageous story, he knows he can’t leave a lone woman in the middle of a war zone.

I liked the H/h for the most part. Kendra is a snarky, strong-willed woman but becomes very dependent on Ben. His past haunts him, but he’s still prepared to help Kendra. Their attraction was almost instant, which I liked, but their love bloomed far too fast. The time travel part was never explained, which was disappointing.

Anyway, the story is well written without any typos, and I enjoyed Ms. Fulton’s voice.

3.5 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.

Romance Books, Uncategorized

#BookReview – “Change of the Heart” by Kelly Wolf

Review

Camille White is sleeping with her boss and plans to wow him with a promotion-worthy presentation at the costume-required office Christmas party, but everything goes awry. Turns out, he’s only been using her for sex and fires her when she refuses to sleep with him. Camille grabs a cab, hurt over being used and shocked over her stupid choices, and the crabby cab driver isn’t making her night any easier.

Matt Day knew the woman he just picked up in his cab was trouble, especially since she’s dressed like an angel. He just wants to go home to his crummy apartment, but he drives to Upstate NY in a snowstorm to take her home. When they get stranded in the snow, they walk the rest of the way to her place and come to an understanding—one night, just sex, no strings attached. But when morning comes, their simple arrangement becomes much more complicated.

I really liked the H/h. Matt and Camille have both been scorned by the opposite sex, and their baggage is eating away at them. Even though there’s no declaration of love, the emotion is definitely there between them.

There were a few typos, nothing major, and a lot of telling (mostly in flashbacks), instead of showing. There are also some unanswered questions. I enjoyed the story but really wished it would’ve been longer.

3 Stars

(Note: this book is no longer available for purchase or review anywhere that I can find online. Sorry, readers, if you wanted to grab a copy!)

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.