Christmas Awards 2011

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray by Carol A. Spradling

Publisher: Carol Spradling

May 2012

ISBN: 978-1-475-08173-2

Pages: 200

Hampton, Virginia August 1752

Katherine “Kat” Bailey has come from England to what she hopes is going to be her future.  She has come to Virginia as a Mail Order Bride and being without money she knows her options are limited.  Kat quickly finds out that the man she has agreed to wed and that is considered to be very honorable in town is not what he claims and pretends to be.  Beaten by her intended Kat runs to the one man that just might be able to save and protect her, Grayson Gregory.  The one man the town people fear.

Grayson Gregory has been accused of murder by the good people of Hampton and since that helps him keep a secret safe he has no interest in letting the truth about himself be known.  That changes when Kat comes into his life by collapsing on his doorstep trying to escape the man that is after her, the man she was supposed to marry. Gray now has to deal with his painful past if he hopes to have a future especially with the attraction that Kat has managed to make him feel, an attraction he never thought he would feel.

Kat is determined to find out the truth about Gray as their attraction grows.  The more Kat learns about Gray the harder she finds it to believe what is said about him.  Gray is going to have to figure out if he is willing to take a chance on the love he has found with Kat and move into the future or if he is going to staying the past and live with the pain that is always there.

This is a well written story that will keep the reader engrossed as they try to figure the secrets in Gray’s past.  This one keeps the reader guess has to the truth and what is really going on.  The reader will be drawn into the character lives and will be hoping Kat and Gray can find happiness that they both deserve.  The characters keep the story moving along at a nice pace and keeps the story interesting. 

I give this one 4 red roses 

Reaper's Justice

Reaper’s Justice: The Shadow Reapers by Sarah McCarty

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

February 2011

ISBN: 978-0-425-23668-0

Pages: 294

Adelaide “Addy” Cameron has been content with her life even though at times she feels she has settled in her life. What she doesn’t expect is how her life is about to change and how those changes are about to bring her dreams to life.

Isaiah Jones is one of several werewolf soldiers that was created to kill on command and that went rogue after the Civil War. The only time he finds any peace is when he is around Addy. With Addy he finds acceptance in the human world that he thought he would never find. The only way he can keep both the man and beast that he is happy is to keep watch and guard Addy even if it is from a distance. All of that changes when Addy is abducted. Now it is up to Isaiah to rescue her.

If Isaiah is going to have any chance at all at saving Addy he is going to have to show her his dark side and also bring her into the shadows of his life. Their union is forbidden by Reaper’s law but they are finding that the passion that is between them is not going to be denied so they are going to have to find a way to have a future together that has suddenly become the most important thing in either of their lives. First Isaiah is going to have to save Addy.

This is very different werewolf story that will keep the reader turning the pages. The back story for the characters is very interesting and adds a great deal to the story. The reader will enjoy watching Addy find her place in the world and in a way that she never thought it would be possible for her to do. This is another well written book by this author. This one is worth reading.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Hearts Aflame

Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey

Publisher: Avon

Reissue: June 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-210654-4

Pages: 372

Kristen Haardrad may now be the captive of Royce but she is determined to never submit to him. Kristen is determined to find a way home but first she is going to have to deal with the attraction she feels for her handsome captor.

Royce, Thane of Wyndhurst may be the man holding Kristen captive but he is the slave to the desire she has inspired in him. Now Royce has to get Kristen to surrender willing to him because that is the only way he will have her.

Soon it is a battle of wits between Kristen and Royce. Only time will tell if they will be able to find a way to become more than captor and captive. As their attraction for each other grows they will have to decide just what truly matters to them both. They will also have to find and defeat the enemy that Royce has and that has suddenly decided that while Royce is busy with Kristen that will give the enemy a chance to destroy Royce once and for all. Royce has to find a way to protect Kristen from an enemy that has decided she just might prove to be a weakness for Royce.

This is a story that is fun to read as the reader gets to watch the hero and heroine match wits and it will be anyone’s guess who will win. The characters are well developed and time period used for the setting for this one is very interesting and realistic. This is a sweet romance that is sure to please most readers.

I give this one 4 red roses

Only His

Only His by Elizabeth Lowell

Publisher: HarperCollins

Reissue: October 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-180315-4

Pages: 400

Willow Moran is trying to leave what her life has become since the end of the Civil War. All she has left are her five Arabian horses and the knowledge that her brother is somewhere in the Colorado Rockies. Willow has also determined the best way to get her brother is to depend on a gunfighter to keep her safe until she can get to her brother. What she never expected was the attraction she feels for Caleb Black.

Caleb Black is just like the land he so loves, wild and unpredictable and just as hard as the mountains he loves. Caleb believes in vengeance and taking care of those that are unable to protect themselves. Caleb doesn’t think that a gentle southern bred woman has what it takes to survive in the Rockies until he gets to really know Willow and she shows him just how capable she really is.

Willow knows that even with all the differences between her and Caleb that Caleb is her destiny and she will fight whoever she has to so that she can prove to him that she is right woman to stand beside him. First though Willow is going to have to find the brother she hasn’t seen in too long. Willow and Caleb are also going to have to overcome the perils that are in their path so that they can build the future together they both want.

This is a great western story and brings the west to life for the reader. The story brings to life what the country was going through after the Civil War and how the country moved west to get away from the memories of the war. The hero while coming across as a very hard man made that way by the land shows that underneath he is a good man that will do the right thing even at his own expense. The heroine gives a glimpse into what a lot of the women had to deal with while the war was being fought and how the women found ways to survive and make their lives better after the war. This is a very good story that is worth getting and reading.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

California Caress

California Caress by Rebecca Sinclair

Publisher: EPublishing Works

June 2011

ISBN: 978-1-61417-076-1

Pages: 416

Thirsty Gulch, California 1851

Hope Bennett will do whatever she has to so that she can save her brother’s life. Even if that means making a devil’s bargain with a gunfighter. Hope soon finds that the gunfighter wants more than the money she is offering. Hope might have to agree to his deal to save her brother but she is determined to find a way out of the predicament she has found herself in.

Drake Frazier is a gunfighter that has what he needs without accepting the deal Hope is offering so he offers a deal that will save her brother but get him what he wants. His demands might be improper but he is suddenly enjoying life in a way he hasn’t done in a very long time. Drake never expected to meet someone like Hope in a town that is more rough than most of the towns in California during a time of the gold rush.

As Drake and Hope work to find ways to get what they each want they have to deal with the consequences of Drake’s profession. Neither one counted on the attraction they feel for each other never dreaming that there might be a future for them. Though sometimes the best laid plans never work out the way they are supposed to. Suddenly they are finding what they had always had planned for themselves is not looking as bright as they once thought the future should look like. But will they have a future together? Or will Drake’s past stop them from finding the happiness they both want to have together.

This is a story that gives a very different view of the gold rush towns that sprung up in California. It also shows how temporary those towns could be. The time period comes to vivid life for the reader as they read this one. The characters will have the reader turning the pages just to see what is going to happen next in this one. The reader will find this one hard to put down once they start.

I give this one 4 red roses

Someone Like You

Someone Like You by Leigh Greenwood

Publisher: Leisure Books

March 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4285-0609-1

Pages: 283

Rancho los Alamitos, California historical

Maria de la Guerra isn’t sure what to believe about Rafe Jerry. All she is sure of is that what she has been told doesn’t fit with the man she has met. Maria is determined to find out just what the truth is because Rafe is turning into a man that is nothing like what she expected and with an attraction she isn’t sure she really wants she is going to have to figure out what to believe because it isn’t just herself that needs to believe in Rafe, it is also his half brother.

Rafe Jerry never fully recovered from discovering the woman he loved when he was nineteen in bed with another man, a man that was also his father. Then Rafe was kicked off the family ranch he never expected to be back again. Now his father is gone and Rafe is trying to find a way to get out of running the family ranch and raising his young half brother. Life has made Rafe a hard man and one to fear when he is crossed.

Rafe was betrayed during the war and he is determined to track down the man that betrayed Rafe and his friends and left them for dead. Knowing his enemy is in California makes going home a little easier for Rafe but that still doesn’t stop Rafe from trying to find a way out of his father’s will. He wants nothing to do with the ranch or the widow. He most certainly doesn’t want to give into his need for Maria, the first woman that has been able to touch his heart since he has left the family ranch but Rafe is learning that sometimes it doesn’t matter what the will wants it is the heart that wins.

This story has a little bit of everything in it with some mystery and action thrown in. The characters are well written and the reader will find themselves hoping things will work out for Rafe and Maria and that they can find their happy ever after. The story will keep the reader reading it as they see the characters go through a change of heart and find that sometimes the best thing to do is leave the past right where it belongs, in the past. This is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone book too.

I give this one 4 red roses

Only Mine

Only Mine by Elizabeth Lowell

Publisher: Avon

Reissued: October 2009

ISBN: 978-0-38076-339-9

Pages: 400

London & Colorado Rockies 1867

Jessica Charteris tricked Wolfe Lonetree into a marriage in name only so that she wouldn’t have to marry the lord that had been chosen for her. Jessica just never imagined what that life would entail with Wolfe and living on the edge of the Colorado Rockies. Now Jessica is going to have to find her place in her new life with Wolfe and a world that she was never raised to live in.

Wolfe Lonetree is the bastard son of a viscount and a Cheyenne shaman daughter. He has made a life for himself in the wild west that has suited him just fine. While he is willing to save Jessica from a vile lord that she was supposed to marry it is going to be on his terms that their marriage it going to be done. Wolfe now has want his heart has always desired and that is Jessica. Never expecting it to happen he is going to show Jessica what it means to be his wife.

Jessica is learning that while she is getting a marriage she never thought to have she is also learning about a man that can make her breathless and one that will teach her just what it means to belong to the right man and to become his woman. Wolfe may not ever expected Jessica to be his but now that she is he will show her pleasures she never dreamed existed.

This is one story that is truly timeless. The characters are very well written and while it was first published in 1992 the story is written is such a way that it doesn’t get old in the least. This is another great book in the Only series by this author that will have the reader hating to put the book down for any reason. It is enjoyable to read and watch Wolfe and Jessica find their way to happiness and to have what they think they know about each other turned on its head. This is one book that readers will truly enjoy reading.

I give this one 4 red roses

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Wild Roses

Wild Roses by Hannah Howell

Publisher: Zebra

Original: June 1997
Reissue: August 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8217-7976-7

Pages: 308

Wyoming, Spring 1871

Ella Carson ran away from her family in Philadelphia because her life was in danger there. Now she is being dragged back there by a very handsome man that has also proven to be only man she has ever been truly attracted to, Harrigan Mahoney. Now she is going to have to find a way to outsmart him if she wants to live.

Harrigan Mahoney was hired to bring Ella back but he never realized just how spirited and beautiful she was. Now it is become a battle of wits between them to see who is going to come out the winner in this one. Harrigan never expected to feel this level of attraction to Ella which is making his job much harder than he thought it would be.

Harrigan and Ella now have to decide what they plan on doing with the overwhelming attraction that is raging between them. Harrigan isn’t sure he believes that Ella’s life is truly in danger but he is going to have to find just what the truth is if he has any hope of chance of a future with Ella that he is suddenly very sure he would like to have. In order to have that future Harrigan is going to have to find out exactly what is going on and who is really telling him the truth.

This is another wonderful story by this author that always manages to do a wonderful blend of romance and humor that is sure to keep readers greatly entertained. Reading about the antics between the hero and heroine is great deal of fun and sure to please. This is sure to pick up any reader that needs a pick me up and is great for those who just want to have an enjoyable read.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Devils on Horseback: Nate

Devils on Horseback: Nate by Beth Williamson

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

September 2007

ISBN: 978-1-59998-485-8

Pages: 235

Elisa Taggart is only interested in saving her family’s ranch from those that are trying to get her family off of it. She knows it is up to her to keep her brother, father and herself on the land and to find a way to save it. What she doesn’t count on is her attraction to the man that is sent to remove them from the land. Now she is going to have to find a way to deal with her feelings while making sure that her family keeps a roof over their heads.

Nate Marchand was a Confederate soldier during the war and he found the order in life that he never had as the son of the town drunk. Nate and his friends are trying to rebuild their lives after loosing everything in the war. Part of that rebuilding is hiring out their services to take care of whatever their current employer needs take care of. Their current job is to remove Elisa and her family from their ranch. Nate isn’t sure what to make of Elisa as he has never met anyone like her or anyone that makes him feel what he does for her. Those feelings are getting in the way of his job and he is going to have to decide what means more to him – his job or Elisa.

Nate and Elisa have to find a way to overcome all that is working against them to find the happiness that they are sure they can have together if they can only overcome their differences. Nate is finding that when it comes to Elisa nothing is as easy as he would like and he is going to have to decide just whose side he is on.

This is wonderful story in that it gives the reader a brief glimpse in what life was like for some after the Civil War and how the people had to find a way to piece their lives together once it was over. This one has action that keeps the story moving along quickly and leave the reader wanting to read the next one in the series. Watching the characters work through what they want and what they feel they have to do to survive makes for a very engaging reading experience.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Dangerous Secrets

Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Renee Jones

Publisher: Lisa Renee Jones

April 2012

Pages: 273

Julie Harrison is a divorce attorney for the rich and famous and she knows it can get down right nasty at times. Julie has also learned from all of the cases she has handled that love doesn’t last. She is determined not to make the mistakes that her mother and clients have made. Julie has found that if she turns the games men play onto them than she can keep men at a distance and not worry about getting hurt. The only man that has come close to getting through the wall she has built is Luke Walker. While he was a Navy SEAL she never had to worry about him being around enough to tempt her.

Luke Walker is back and now that he is retired from the SEALs he is determined to get the only woman he has ever truly wanted, Julie. Now that he is in New York and running Walker Security with his brothers he has the chance he needs to get Julie right where he wants her.

One of Julies clients is a powerful judge that is now involved with a dangerous cartel and has managed to get Julie mixed up in his mess. His ex wife is dead and now Julie is next on the list for things they believe she knows. Now Julie has to find a way out of the mess she is in and it looks like the only one that can save her and extract her from this is Luke Walker. Suddenly Julie finds herself spending a lot more time with Luke when before she did what she could to avoid him. Now Julie is going to have to decide just how much she trusts Luke and if just maybe she has been wrong about love and just needed to find it with the right man.

This is a great story that while it is the second book in the Tall, Dark and Dangerous series it can be read as a stand alone but the reader will get a lot more enjoyment out of the story if they read the whole series. This one will also have readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. This one also has enough twists and turns to keep the reader guess just who is who and just who is the bad guy is. This one not to miss.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Angel on Fire

Angel on Fire by Jacquie Johnson

February 2012

Pages: 293

Angela McKenzie is determined to find out everything she can about her father dropping dead on a sidewalk in Boston from a heart attack. Instead she finds herself in the middle of the last classified project her father was working on when he died. What she never expected was to suddenly be in the sights of the FBI, a killer and a terrorist. Now she has to find out the truth if she wants to survive what is happening.

Chase Romero used to be a Navy SEAL but is now an undercover operative when his boss sends him to watch over Angela. Chase is sure that his boss is over reacting until things begin to happen to Angela that makes Chase change his mind in a hurry. Now Chase has to find a way to keep Angela safe while they try to figure exactly what her father was working on at the time of his death.

Finding out what is going on would be a lot easier if the attraction they feel for each other wasn’t so strong and compelling. Now as they go from New England to Washington DC to Lake Michigan in a search for the truth they are going to have to reevaluate their lives to see what they thought they always wanted and where they were headed is still what they want of if they have found something very special with each other that is more important than anything else. Chase is also going to have to decide if what he has fond with Angela is enough to go up against her godfather who also happens to be his boss.

This story is full of action and suspense. The twist and turns that this one takes is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats as they try to figure what is going on and just who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. This is a wonderful debut story that is sure to have readers watching for what comes next from this author. This is one that is definitely worth giving the time to and readers that enjoy action packed romance are sure to love this one.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses