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Review – Rescuing an Angel – Ann Jacobs

25570582Rescuing an Angel
Author: Ann Jacobs
Series: #4 in Oil Barons series
Rating: ☆ ½

Review copy provided via Publisher

Description:
One fateful misstep for Gayla Levine was all it took for her once-adoring fiancé to walk away and her demanding father to disown her. Determined to finally turn her life around and embrace her newfound independence, she wants nothing to do with men or relationships—until she meets Dan Newman, a sexy surgeon who sends a shock of electricity through her every time they touch.

Dan Newman has spent his life struggling to overcome his own crippling past by devoting himself to healing others who have suffered. Now a world-class surgeon, he’s confident in his ability to face anything life throws at him—until he meets a headstrong Texas beauty who has his pulse racing and fills his dreams with impossibly sensual visions.

As they fall into a passionate romance that takes them both to the burning edges of pleasure, these two damaged souls must both confront their darkest demons. Because Gayla is haunted by the echoes of being called a failure and torn by the fear that she’ll be rejected once again, and Dan, who has proved his worth to so many others, now must convince himself and Gayla that they deserve the powerful love they’ve found.

Review:
This is a hard review to write, because I’ve read and enjoyed the author in the past and this book didn’t even come close to what I expect of her. However, I did finish it – although there was some heavy griping during that time…however, before I was even done, I knew I needed to do some research into the history of the book, because the netgalley description mentioned that it was a previously published book (Dallas Heat).

From the get-go, I had issues with how the cover portrayed (or didn’t portray the story) and actually the same could be said for the series title. The cover of the book (guy in a cowboy hat) with a horse and oil rigs in the background meant that I expected those things to make a significant appearance in the book – so I was disappointed to find out, that there was only one brief mention of the main characters going horseback riding and only one very minor secondary character alluded to as being involved in oil. However, when I went and looked at the previous editions, there was only one of the four (that I saw) that actually looked like it was related to the book.

Aside from that, the writing just felt really chunky and didn’t flow well. I don’t know if it was because it had been revised several times, but something just didn’t click for me. Although I have to wonder how much my opinion of the book was based on my expectation of what I was going to get, compared to what I actually did. I did think the story itself had potential and I liked Gayla/Dan – but I just couldn’t get past my perception. That being said, I have enjoyed the author in the past and will try some of her more recent stuff to see if that is maybe where my disconnect with the author’s writing was. Unfortunately, I could only give Rescuing an Angel only 1.5 stars.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Recipe for Temptation – Gina Gordon

19005702Recipe for Temptation
Author: Gina Gordon
Series: #4 in the Madewood Brothers series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
She’s the woman he loves to hate.

Penn Foster wants a lot of things. She wants a spot on the board of a charitable foundation. She wants to win the stupid, plastic family trophy. And more than anything, she wants her tall, hot, and brooding boss naked in her bed. Now, on a Hawaiian vacation with her family, she’s desperately trying not to think about how he’d sound whispering dirty things in her ear.

He’s the man she can’t have…or can she?

Cole Murphy keeps himself locked down, away from the press and out of the spotlight. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood, his ability to trust has been decimated. Penn, with her sexy body and confidence, is the only person able to drag him out of his shell. Which is why he crashes her vacation and accepts her proposition for no-strings sex. But is the inescapable heat building between them a delicious temptation, or will it end in total disaster?

Review:
I’m very much a mood reader when it comes to picking which books to read when (although I also do a lot of reading challenges, which make me get out of comfort zone). One of the reading challenge, I’m currently trying to finish up, required a book set in Hawaii and when I came across the description for Recipe for Temptation, I knew that I had to pick it up. And to say that I was quickly sucked in, would be an understatement…you know, how sometimes you pick a book up and it just doesn’t catch you immediately, so you put it down and start another one (or 5 or 6) and then there are other books, where you start reading and before you know, its 2am and you have to get up at 5am…yeah…Recipe for Temptation was definitely the latter of the two (although it wasn’t quite 2am, more like 12:30…haha!

I fell in love with Penn from almost the first minute I was introduced to her – I don’t know why, maybe because she was just so likable (and REAL) compared to her family who were…OMG, how to even describe them. It actually reminded me a lot of my extended family at times – how everyone seems to be perfect, except for me (although when all is said and done, I’m probably one of the more successful of my siblings/cousins – even if i’m not married/no kids). And as for Cole…any guy who is willing to drop what he is doing, to travel to another country (since the rest of the series is set in Canada) to help the woman he loves (even if he doesn’t want to admit it)…yeah, where can I line up to be issued one of them! haha!

I didn’t actually realize that this was #4 in a series, until after I started reading and was introduced to the Cole’s brothers, but that only made me want to read more (and in the week following me completing this, I read those other 3 books). Seeing Penn and Cole’s relationship develop through those books, only deepened how I felt about them in this one. I would recommend reading the previous 3 books in the series first, in nothing else to more understand Cole’s background and how important Penn really is to ALL of the brothers in the series (and bonus, all 4 books are hot and smexy!)

I know for sure that I will be checking out more books by Gina Gordon in the future – in fact, I could very easily see her being added to my auto-buy list, if the rest of her writing is as strong as the Madewood Brothers series. A solid 4 stars for Recipe for Temptation!

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Homefront – Jessica Scott

homefrontHomefront
Author: Jessica Scott
Series: #1 in the Homefront series (spin-off from Coming Home series)
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publicist via Netgalley

Description:
He’s always loved her…
First Sergeant Gale Sorren waited a war and half a lifetime for a chance to get stationed near the ex-wife who left him years ago. When he finally musters the courage to see her, the life he imagined she was living was nothing close to the reality.
She’s never stopped loving him…
Melanie never stopped worrying about Gale each time he headed off to war. But he’s never been there when she needed him and she’s had fifteen years to steel her heart against him.
But when Gale moves to Fort Hood, he finally has a chance to make things right with Melanie and the daughter she raised without him.
Can Mel trust her heart to a man who has always let her down?

Review:
So in all honesty, I actually read this book a couple of months ago and planned to get my review written then, but things turned insane (like usual) and I found myself behind on reviews. So since this is ARC August, I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on a few ARC’s where I have read the books, but the reviews haven’t been posted, so please bear with me ;)

Homefront – oh where to start…(and no that’s not a bad thing)! This is the first book in Jessica Scott’s new series (also aptly named Homefront) and is a spin-off of her popular Coming Home series. I wanted to point this out up front, because a) if you haven’t read her coming home series, you need to high tail yourself to your nearest book dealer and purchase them and b) because you may encounter spoilers for couples in those books (so you have been warned!).

In Homefront, we meet FSG Gale Sorren (First Sergeant for those of you who don’t speak military) – who is returning to Ft Hood (the basis of most of Jessica’s books) as part of a Battalion reorganization/replacement that occurred in a previous book (It’s Always Been You – Ben/Olivia). I’ll admit that I fell for Gale the minute he was introduced – he reminded me a lot of several of the senior enlisted personnel I’ve worked with over the years – the ones who care more about their men/woman, than playing the political game. But you could also tell that he had demons (for lack of a better word in his background) which were soon revealed. I think one of my favorite things about Jessica’s writing is the amount of realism she brings to the stories – based on her experiences as an Army officer.

One of my other favorite things about Jessica’s writing is that her females, be they military or not, are kick-ass – one of the biggest issues I have with many romances is that the females need to guy to step in and save them, but that is not present in Jessica’s books – in fact, her heroine’s prove in every book that saying, anything you can do, I can do better – it is always a pleasure to read her books because of this and Homefront was no different. The heroine in Homefront, Melanie, is Gale’s estranged wife and I’ll admit that I ended up bawling as they reconnected through his daughter (who he has really never gotten to know all that well). So Homefront hit my happy reader button on some many things – a well-written military romance, a second chance/rekindled love romance, and where the child (or should I say young-adult) in the book was key to the storyline moving forward and not just in the story for added drama.

Homefront had Jessica’s typically witty humor that I love, and yet manages to tackle one of the issues of military life. I gave Homefront 4 stars and hope that some of you will pick it up and read it soon.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Book Review, Review

 

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ARC August – Intro and Goals

arc-august

So i’m not sure how I missed out on the awesome-ness that is apparently ARC August, but I was just saying to a friend (cough, Naomi) the other day that I had a ton of ARC’s off Netgalley that I needed to get read and reviewed, but I tend to get distracted with BSN (bright, shiny, new) books (yeah, I know ARC’s are BSN as well, but i’m easily distracted, what can I say!). So when I came across a Facebook post about ARC August (thanks Melissa!), I was intrigued and my explorations soon let me to the originators of this event, Octavia and Shelley at Read Sleep Repeat. So even though I’m a few days late, I’m throwing my book pile in the circle and joining in the fun!

It took me some time to examine all the books on my Netgalley account and try to figure out which ones I wanted to tackle during the upcoming month. Part of it was determined by which authors I really like and who get precedence from me when I get ARC’s of their books and others in part to fitting requirements for different reading challenges I am doing.

Planned ARC’s for August:

24737833After the War – Jessica Scott
A terrible loss…
Captain Sarah Anders lost her husband to the Iraq war and has nearly lost the career she loves. Sent to Fort Hood, she only wants to do her job and take care of the daughter she’s raising on her own. She never counted on running straight into a memory she’d tried to forget.
A love he never forgot…
Captain Sean Nichols never got over Sarah. He simply tried to forget her amidst the war and the chaos of combat. But when she’s assigned to investigate his unit, he comes face to face with the woman no war or any amount of time could make him forget.
A dark secret…
As Sarah gets closer to the truth, Sean must accept that actions he took during the war may end the tentative love building between them. And even if Sarah can forgive him, Sean may never be able to forgive himself.

22551743The Truth According to Us – Annie Barrows
In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten.

25570582Rescuing an Angel – Ann Jacobs
One fateful misstep for Gayla Levine was all it took for her once-adoring fiancé to walk away and her demanding father to disown her. Determined to finally turn her life around and embrace her newfound independence, she wants nothing to do with men or relationships—until she meets Dan Newman, a sexy surgeon who sends a shock of electricity through her every time they touch.

Dan Newman has spent his life struggling to overcome his own crippling past by devoting himself to healing others who have suffered. Now a world-class surgeon, he’s confident in his ability to face anything life throws at him—until he meets a headstrong Texas beauty who has his pulse racing and fills his dreams with impossibly sensual visions.

As they fall into a passionate romance that takes them both to the burning edges of pleasure, these two damaged souls must both confront their darkest demons. Because Gayla is haunted by the echoes of being called a failure and torn by the fear that she’ll be rejected once again, and Dan, who has proved his worth to so many others, now must convince himself and Gayla that they deserve the powerful love they’ve found.

25528536Forget Me Not – Erika Marks
When aspiring-writer Mallory Reynolds packed up for New York City, she ditched more than her quiet hometown of Magnolia Bay—she left her high-school sweetheart, Josh Loveless, behind. But when the big city didn’t deliver big contracts on her novels, she turned to writing erotica under the pen name Farrah Ivory to spare her family any embarrassment. Soon, her scandalously-sexy series, The Lost Diaries of Scarlet, is a break-out hit. Just as Mallory begins to enjoy her sweet success, her publisher leaks her true identity and a media firestorm ensues. Exposed, she decides there’s nowhere to hide—except for home.

For Josh Loveless, getting over Mallory Reynolds hasn’t been easy, but he’s done his best to move on. For starters, he’s turned his love of the outdoors and rock-climbing into his own business. And just as things are starting to settle for him, he learns Mallory’s coming home to ride out her scandal, and suddenly his world is turned upside down again…

Can Mallory convince her friends and family that she’s still the same good-hearted girl they knew? And more importantly, can Josh trust the woman she’s become, and give her a second chance to rewrite their love story with a happy ending?

25935349Dodging Temptation – Avery Flynn
On the cusp of closing a multi-billion dollar deal, Dodge Loving can’t afford for anything go wrong at his ultra-exclusive luxury resort, where privacy isn’t just promised it’s guaranteed. So when he finds paparazzi hiding in the bushes, he’ll do anything to get rid of them-even if it means firing their target: the sexy, stuck up bookworm his mom hired.

Harper Conner just wants to be left alone to catalog the resort’s rare cowboy diaries. But after slapping her cheating senator ex-husband during a televised press conference-she’s a hot commodity for the tabloids.

Alone for the first time, without the protection of her political dynasty of a family, she can’t afford to get fired-especially by the Type-A jerk who runs the place. And she definitely should never have kissed him. Now Harper has two choices: get outta Dodge…or fall in love with him.

22009625Best Bi Short Stories – Sheela Lambert (Editor)
Best Bi Short Stories is the first book of its kind, a literary anthology bringing together the very finest representations of bisexuality in fiction. The bisexuality of characters, like in real people, can be invisible to readers unless explicitly brought to their attention. Invisibility leads to underrepresentation, and on bookstore shelves that has certainly been true. Best Bi Short Stories hopes to change that by presenting the very best quality, cast in a bold light. With an all-star author lineup ranging from Katherine Forrest to Jane Rule, Ann Herendeen to Jan Steckel, and curated by longtime bi activist Sheela Lambert, Best Bi Short Stories encompasses several genres. The authors are a diverse group, as well, and Lambert sought representation across age groups, cultures, ethnicities and sexualities in both the authors and stories, demonstrating the richness of bi experience.

18453252Delectable – Adrianne Lee
Montana real estate agent Quint McCoy will tell you that the most important thing is location, location, location. It’s a lesson he learns all too well when he goes incommunicado for a four-week fishing trip to Alaska. While he’s away, his mother Molly turns his office into the pie shop she has always dreamed of, Big Sky Pie. But that’s not the only surprise in store for him.

On her way out of town, Callee McCoy only wants to say a fond farewell to her beloved mother-in-law. But Molly soon persuades Callee to stay and lend a hand at the new shop, even if it means heating up the kitchen with her soon-to-be ex. As Callee and Quint rediscover their recipe for love, they realize that some couples are so sinfully good together that one delectable taste is never enough . . .

18484795A Million Miles Away – Lara Avery
When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.

So there it is, my list of books for ARC August…of course, I have some special books set aside to reward myself if I finish these ones, but you’ll just have to come back and see what they are – because I’m not going to reveal them until I reach my goal ;)

Happy Reading!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in ARC August, Reading Events

 

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August is Read-A-Romance Month

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Did you know that August is Read-A-Romance Month? Read-A-Romance month was launched in 2013 by the Bobbi Dumas, a romance fan and advocate. As a romance reader, I love the idea of a month dedicated to my favorite genre – i mean, it probably makes up close to 80% of my normal reading load and yet, it still one of the most disregarded and looked down genres out there. People seem to think its ok to look down their noses at those of us who read romance, because its “trash” or “smut”. Regardless of that fact that the romance industry is a billionaire dollar industry when it comes to writing and publishing books. You can read more about the origins of Read-a-Romance month HERE.

I’m looking forward to following the events at the Read-a-Month website, where different authors and bloggers will be participating each day, talking about their passion for romance.

For you romance readers out there, what was the first romance novel you remember reading?

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in General

 

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Review – Playing with Temptation – Erika Wilde

21503708Playing with Temptation
Author: Erika Wilde
Series: #1 in the Players Club
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Author via Netgalley

Description:
When Raina Beck is given an invitation to The Players Club, all she wants is a night of decadence with a gorgeous, sexy stranger. The seductive, mysterious man she meets fulfills her deepest desires and most erotic fantasies, giving her a night she’ll never forget. But forgetting him isn’t quite so easy.

Logan Cruz prefers his women submissive and compliant in the bedroom . . . everything the independent Raina is not. Yet from the first moment he lays eyes on her, he’s determined to make Raina his. Despite her resistance.

When Logan is assigned to protect Raina from a stalker, everything between them changes. Sex becomes more than just physical, and emotions run deep. Falling in love was never on Raina’s agenda, but can she let go of the past and surrender the one thing he wants the most . . . her heart?

Review:
I’ve been reading romances for a long time (close to 18yrs) and as such, I am always on the lookout for new and intriguing ideas within the story. And while Erika Wilde’s first book in her Players Club series wasn’t completely different/unique, it was (at least for me) an improvement on most of the current books available out there. As I was reading, I could tell that she had done her research into the various facets of the story, including how a security company would approach a problem such as Raina’s, and how clubs may operate.

For the moment the book opened with a scene in the Club, I felt like I was there with Raina – seeing it for the first time and getting intrigued. There was something about Ms Wilde’s writing style that just sucked you in. And of course, when we were introduced to the mystery man, all bets were off…lol! Even once Logan was identified later on, there was just something about him that, that I just wanted more. I did find Logan’s sister to be a bitch at first and while she did grow on me, I never really liked her. I do love how we are seeing more and more books being released with women who are open to exploring their sexuality through the use of toys and that authors are including these stores (and owners) in their character line-up. I especially like how they are no longer being treated like someones dirty little secret – with toys needing to be hidden in a back room away from the public.

I found that the mystery was well-developed but didn’t over-take the whole romance angle of the book (as happens occasionally). Although I will admit, I figured out who the stalker was (or at least had a good idea) before it was revealed. But the ultimate ending was satisfying.

Overall, I gave Playing with Temptation 3.5 stars and a solid erotic romance read.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Just One Taste – Kimberly Kincaid

23433952Just One Taste
Author: Kimberly Kincaide
Series: #4.5 in the Pine Mountain series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
A little home improvement can go a long way…

Jesse Oliver was a medic in Afghanistan, but back home in Pine Mountain he’s happy to switch gears as the Double Shot bar’s new sous chef. When his apartment floods and his old Army buddy offers the family’s dilapidated lake house as temporary quarters, Jesse thinks a little remodeling on the creaky duplex sounds like a fair return favor. That’s before he sets eyes on the gorgeous woman moving into the other side of the cabin—and discovers she’s his buddy’s kid sister, a.k.a totally off limits.

Kat McMarrin has fought hard for her space, and she’s not too interested in sharing it. Of course, her job as a physical therapist means she won’t see much of Jesse, even if he’s a few thin floorboards away—unless she seeks him out. And with his sculpted body and slow-burn gaze, she might be tempted. Maybe the fixer-upper projects she has planned for the cabin will keep her mind off him. Or maybe her instincts to strip the place down will get out of hand…

Review:
Normally I glom Kimberly Kincaid’s books as soon as I get my hot little mitts on them, but for some reason, I didn’t jump into Just One Taste as soon as I got my copy. Looking back now, I am thankful for that, because one Sunday when I was stuck in bed feeling cruddy, I had a favorite author that I could read – which always makes you feel better. This was a cute/short entry into the Pine Mountain series and was just what I needed.

We previously meet Jesse in the last book of the series and knew that he had some secrets/background that he didn’t necessarily want to talk about and I remember after reading the last book, I was like, I want to know more about him. I will also admit that I’m a sucker for friend/sister (or friend/brother) type romances, mostly because there is that idea of the idea of a hands-off type approach (meaning does any brother want their friend dating little sister…). But Kat wasn’t the meek heroine that seems so present in many contemporary romances today – in fact she was uber-smart and not scared to show it (and you could tell that Kimberly had done her research into the educational background that Kat possessed because it rang true to me). The conflict between Kat and Jesse was intriguing and I totally sided with Kat on the need for own space (that’s why i’ve not had roommates since college). But seeing the relationship develop between the two of them was a fun ride and I enjoyed how they had multiple points of intersection in their lives before they ended up staying in the same cabin.

Just One Taste had Kimberly’s trade-mark sassy dialogue and witty humor, as well as steam resulting smexy scenes. I’m just disappointed to know that this series is wrapping up soon (even if I know she’ll have other books coming out). If you want a smexy handyman type romance, with an extremely smart heroine, then Just One Taste might be the book for you.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Book Review

 

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