Christmas Awards 2011

Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Killing Game

The Killing Game by Toni Anderson

Publisher: Toni Anderson

March 2013

ISBN: 9780991895816

Pages: 361


Axelle Dehn is a wildlife biologist that is determined to protect what she considers her snow leopards.  No one will get in her way not the poachers that are intent on killing them or the soldier that wants to use them as bait.  Then Axelle becomes entangled in a conflict that dates back three decades.  A conflict that could easily spark a war between a couple of the world’s nations.

Ty Dempsey is a British SAS soldier that was sent to hunt down a notorious Russian terrorist that is in a remote region of Afghanistan.  As Ty has never failed on a mission he is determined to see to the success of this one also.  Though things take a turn when Axelle is kidnapped by the Russian and Ty is forced to choose between his mission and his heart that wants only Axelle.  Ty is wiling to risk everything for the woman he has fallen in love with but by saving her he puts a very successful spy in danger of being exposed.  One that will do whatever it takes to make sure no one gets in his way. 

This is a story that starts off a little slow but once it takes off the action doesn’t stop and has a great many twists and turns that are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.  The plot is different and very intriguing.  While this brings hints of the Cold War to life it is set very much in today’s time.  This is a fantastic romantic suspense that builds to a very explosive and satisfying ending. The action continues to the very end.  The characters are well rounded and engaging.  This is a very interesting book that gives a glimpse into a region that isn’t in very many stories.   It is also written in such a way that the reader will feel like there are right there with the characters and seeing and feeling what they are.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Golden Locket

The Golden Locket by Primula Bond

Publisher: Avon

November 2013

ISBN: 978-0-00-752414-3

Pages: 400

Contemporary, New York City & Venice

Serena Folkes and Gustav Levi are now in Manhattan enjoying their new found love.  As they settle in their new penthouse they have every satisfaction they could need.  Though they are enjoying their new pleasure ground in New York, ghosts from Gustav’s past start to intrude into their lives.  When Gustav’s younger brother, Pierre, who is damaged comes back into Gustav’s life he brings problems with him including a dangerous threat.

With all the temptations and ghosts waiting at every turn for Gustav and Serena it will test them in ways that they have not been tempted so far.  Will they survive what they are facing or will this end up destroying them?

This story picks up shortly after the first book ends filling in what the reader needs to know in such a way as to make it intriguing to read.  This is one trilogy that is proving that it needs to be read in order so that the reader gets all the nuances of the plot that has so far been weaved through the first two books.  With a fascinating cliff hanger at the end that is sure to have readers eagerly awaiting the third and final book in this trilogy just to see how things will ultimately turn out for Gustav and Serena and if it will be possible for them to have a very well deserved happily ever after.  This is one book that should be read with the ac on full blast with a glass of ice water sitting nearby.  The series is proving to be extremely hot and explosive.  This is one for reader of erotic romances to definitely check out. They will not be disappointed.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Infinite Possibilities

Infinite Possibilities: The Secret Life of Amy Benson by Lisa Renee Jones

Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing

November 2013

Pages: 243

Contemporary, New York City & Texas

Amy Benson is being tormented by lies and secrets because they are everywhere she turns. In the midst of the hell she has been living in for six years she meets a man that has proven to be her escape and her passion in a life turned upside down. The one person she felt she could trust in six very long years.  Then he made her doubt that trust.  Now she is determined to find the truth no matter what. Nothing will stand in her way of that truth not even the man she felt she could trust. She may be damaged but through it all she has not been broken and she won’t be now either.  She has survived this long and now finally she is ready to fight to find the truth she so desperately needs.

This story continues what the first book in the series started. A great suspenseful story with a wonderful romance story all in one book that is sure to please readers.  Seeing how Amy finds her way through all that is going on in her life and that no matter what is thrown at her she still manages to keep fighting for survival is as intriguing as it is engrossing.  It is a hard book to put down one the reader starts it.  And while to a certain extent Amy’s story is wrapped up it ends with a cliff hanger of sorts that makes the reader want the next book in the series to see how ultimately the whole of the plot ends.  This is sure to keep the reader guessing as to what will happen next and with every twist and turn that the story takes it never disappoints at all.  This is a great series for those that love romantic suspense.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


A Vampire's Christmas Carol

A Vampire’s Christmas Carol by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

November 2013

Pages: 2013

Contemporary, Paranormal, New York City & North Dakota

Ben Prescott is a vampire that has lost the Christmas spirit.  While humans are busy celebrating the season, Ben is busy hunting in the shadows. His way of celebrating is stalking deadly prey. At least that was his plan on dealing with the holidays this year.  It seems fate has different plans for this particular vampire.

There are three visitors headed Ben’s way.  A demon that is determined to make Ben face a past that Ben has been trying his hardest to forget and leave behind.   A ghost that will show him the present that is possible if he tries and a shifter that will show him the darkness of his future if he doesn’t change the present.  If Ben doesn’t change than he is going truly become a real monster not just the one he already thinks he is.

There is one whose hands Ben’s redemption truly lies in, Simone Laurent, the woman he loved and lost. For Ben to have a better future he has to prove himself to Simone.  A task made all the harder considering once upon a time, on a very different Christmas Eve, Simone died in Ben’s arms.

This story is a wonderful twist to a Christmas classic that is sure to please anyone that enjoys the holidays.  This book is sure to help readers really get into the spirit of Christmas. This is a relatively short story that pulls the reader in until the very last page.  Anyone that enjoys the original Christmas Carol will love this one as it takes the original and bring it into modern era and gives it a great paranormal twist.  This is one holiday story not to miss.

I give this one 5 red roses


A Rogue's Proposal

The Rogue’s Proposal by Jennifer Haymore

Publisher: Grand Central

November 2013

ISBN: 978-1-455-52337-5

Pages: 416

Historical, England

Lukas “Luke” Hawkins is determined to find his missing mother and the man that is accused of kidnapping her, Roger Morton.  He will do anything to find her even if it means breaking a few laws in the process. Luke suddenly finds his task and heart in jeopardy when he meets a mysterious woman with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.

Emma Curtis has heard all about Lord Lukas’ rakish reputation and she hopes to use that to her advantage.  Most men of honor wouldn’t dream of taking an unmarried woman on the road with them. Luckily Luke is a man that is more than willing to take her on the road with him and into his bed.  As their journey takes them to unexpected places Luke and Emma indulge every one of their secret fantasies.  Just when they think they have a chance of having something permanent a secret comes to light that threatens to end the love they have found forever.

This is proving to be a wonderful series and will have readers eagerly awaiting all the siblings’ stories.  Watching Emma and Luke overcome the tragedies of their pasts makes for some great reading.  While this is good size book it proves to be a very fast reading as the reader will want to keep turning the pages just to see what will happen next and if it will work out for the characters.  There are parts of the storyline that tends to be a little dark but it works very well in the story.  It will have readers hoping for the best for the characters.  This is proving to be series not to miss and with the central plot tying all the books together so well this is one series readers will be eagerly awaiting each and every book.

I give this one 5 red roses


Escaping Reality

Escaping Reality: The Secret Life of Amy Benson by Lisa Renee Jones

Publisher: Lisa Renee Jones

July 2013

ISBN: 0985817089

Pages: 252

Contemporary, New Adult, New York City & Denver

Amy Benson has been on the run for the past six years, since she was 18 years old. Then she was known as Lara and a tragedy and a dark secret forced her to change her identity and go into hiding. Just as she is finally starting to believe she has been forgotten the past comes back with a vengeance to punish and send her running yet again.

On a plane dealing with the devastating fact of having to start over yet again Amy meets Liam Stone, a billionaire that is reclusive, brilliant and famous as a prodigy architect.  A man that knows what he wants when he sets eyes on it and goes after it with everything he has.  Now what he wants is Amy and he will not take no for an answer.  He sweeps her into an affair that is both passionate and has the ability of taking her to her erotic limits.  Liam demands everything Amy has and will accept nothing less. He is determined to possess her and make her want to be possessed.  Amy starts wondering if she is too effected by the tragedy to really know if he wants more than she should give.  It is also starting to look like Liam is a lot more than meets the eye.

This is great suspense story that will keep the readers on the edge of their seats as with every page they turn they find out more of what is going on.  It also builds the suspense as more characters are introduced and each seems to be hiding something.  Amy has to figure out just what is going on and the reader gets taken along on a ride that proves to be as wild as they could ever hope for.  This is one book that starts off fast and doesn’t slow down for a single moment.  This is one story that lovers of romantic suspense should not miss.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Running Against the Tide

Running Against the Tide by Joanna Barnden

Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd

ISBN: 978-0-7198-0740-4

It is June 1800 and the Port of London is being modernised to make it more prosperous in the world of shipping.

Eighteen year old Virginia Harcombe is out on the Thames with her father, Josiah and merchants Mr Johnson and his son, Nathan. In the absence of any sons, Ginny has taken it upon herself to learn her father's trade of shipping and is now very proficient in the business. Nathan Johnson is clearly keen to impress Ginny and it is evident that Josiah would have no objection to their union, but Ginny has no interest in marriage, only developing Marcombe's Shipping. How strange, therefore, that her eye is caught by the lighterman steering their vessel through the swirling waters of the river. Ginny is admiring the young man's skill when he turns towards her and their eyes meet, causing Ginny's heart to skip a beat. Summoning up her courage, she moves towards the man and speaks to him about the building of the West India Dock, but before long he is called away to resume his duties and Ginny is then drawn into a conversation with her father and the two merchants regarding new boat designs.

It is obvious to Ginny that Josiah and the elder Mr Johnson want to encourage a relationship between herself and Nathan, especially when Josiah invites the merchants to dinner that evening. Both young people are aware of the fathers' intentions and are suitably embarrassed, but it is not long before Ginny's attention drawn back to the lighterman.

Their journey now safely at an end. Josiah rewards the young man with a shilling and asks his name. Ginny memorises it, Edward Allerdice. The lighterman offers Ginny his hand to guide her down the gangplank and it is then she notices that his hand is bleeding. Edward apologises and assures Ginny that it is merely one of his many blisters that has burst. Nevertheless, Ginny is concerned and suggests Edward visits her at the family home in Southwark where she has herbs that could assist in healing Edward's blisters. But before Edward can give an answer, Ginny is called away by her father, dreading how much fuss will be made at home when her mother finds out an eligible guest is coming to dinner! She leaves Edward on the water front wondering whether he dare take up the beautiful young girl on her offer of help for his blistered hands.

Read on to discover whether Ginny and Edward's attraction for each other can develop in a society vigorously divided by class or whether Ginny has to succumb to her father's obvious intention for her to marry the infinitely more suitable Nathan Johnson.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Joanna Barnden and should be more than happy to recommend it to lovers of period romance. It is more than a romantic novel, however, as it is intermingled with sub-plots of great sadness, heroism and compassion. It also provides an informative insight into the lives of those with money and those struggling to exist within the capital at the turn of the nineteenth century.

I award Running Against the Tide a well-deserved five red roses.

Honey Brown is Married

Honey Brown is Married

by Sara Judge

Publisher: Robert Hale

ISBN: 978-0-7198-0721-3

The year is 1950 and Honey Brown has just married Sussex farmer, August Blake. After a week's honeymoon in Wales, she moves into August's farm to begin her new life as a farmer's wife. And it is a new life, because Honey is a city girl and until her marriage, was a showgirl in the Windmill Theatre. Of course, the role of farmer's wife is completely alien to Honey, but, with the assistance of her mother-in-law, Mrs Blake and housekeeper, Mrs Stow, she is determined to learn and succeed.

Honey is soon introduced to the local ladies who are not sure what to make of the peroxide blonde ex-dancer. The vet's wife, Better Folder, does however seem genuinely pleased to meet Honey and they become firm friends. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the farm's dairyman, Nick. Everyone likes Nick, but he makes Honey feel uncomfortable and he is always quick to point out her inexperience in the ways of country life.

Honey settles down to her new role and in spite of a difficult start, she and her mother-in-law gradually develop an easy relationship. Unfortunately, Honey does not see a great deal of her husband because August's working day is so long. In this event, she has to amuse herself much of the time and is always thrilled when she receives visitors from her old life, although this is a bone of contention with August.

All appears to be going well for Honey, but then a series of traumatic and greatly upsetting events threaten her future life as August's wife. Read on to find out if Honey succeeds in the country or if she returns to the city and her old life in the theatre.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is written in the form of a diary and records Honey's new life with insights into her old life and how she met August Blake. The book has an unusual, but highly pleasing storyline. Honey, as the central character, is very likeable. Despite her background, she seems naive, but at the same time, has a kind, thoughtful and determined nature, which the reader can warm to immediately. The descriptions of the other characters are also so clear that the reader can easily conjure up a mental picture of each one. Once I started this novel, I found it hard to put down as I wanted to find out if Honey could overcome the difficulties she was facing in reconciling the life of an ex-showgirl with that of a farmer's wife - and the author certainly kept me guessing right to the very end!

I award this novel 5 well-deserved red roses.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

No Escape

No Escape by Mary Burton

Publisher: Zebra

November  2013

ISBN: 978-1-4201-2506-1

Pages: 384

Contemporary, Austin, Texas

Dr. Jolene “Jo” Granger is a psychologist that has agreed to hear the dying confession of serial killer Harvey Lee Smith, though she knows better than to let that monster into her head and has vowed to keep him out.  Harvey has secrets that he is ready to share about victims whose bodies were never found and about an apprentice that is continuing Harvey’s grisly work.

Harvey’s apprentice buries his victims alive just like Harvey did, relishing their screams as the earth comes down on top of them.  Harvey’s apprentice is determined to give Harvey, the only father he ever knew, one final gift, the most perfect kill of all.

Everything about this case is unnerving Jo.  From Harvey’s obsession with her to the fact she is now working alongside her ex-husband Texas Ranger, Brody Winchester.  Harvey’s apprentice is growing bolder every day and more vicious.  The trail of graves is leading them to a place no one expects and to a very terrifying truth. 

This is one story that will take you on a psychological ride that is sure to mess with reader’s minds.  The story pulls the reader into the story and doesn’t let go until the very last page.  With all the twist and turns and suspects that show up in the story it is sure to keep readers guessing until the final showdown.  For readers that love psychological thrillers this is one not to miss. 

I give this one 5 red roses


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Christmas Cookie Collection

The Christmas Cookie Collection by Lori Wilde

Publisher: Avon

October 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-213630-5

Pages: 374

Contemporary, Twilight, Texas

Carrie is finding out that this Christmas there is a miracle with her name on it as she reconnects with the only man she has ever loved and who was also her high school sweetheart.

Raylene finds that life comes full circle as she discovers that the baby she gave up at birth is living right in Twilight.

Christine has given up on love until a man walks through the door of her shop that brings her dreams to life.

Grace.  Flynn and Jesse Calloway are excited this Christmas as they get ready for the birth of their child.  When Flynn’s car hits ice Jesse must find a way to move heaven and earth to save both Flynn and the baby. 

This book has four short novellas that are sure to put readers into the holiday spirit.  With the hope and love that comes through loud and clear in each and every story it is sure remind readers that this is the season for miracles.  In each story the characters are in different stages of life but shows that no matter what stage someone is in there is always room for love and hope.  This is one Christmas book that shouldn’t be missed and with each story short and sweet no matter how busy the reader is this season they will be able to find the time to read each and every one.  It is part of series but can easily be read as a stand alone.  It will also have reader wishing for their own small town full of love and acceptance.

I give this one 5 red roses



Rush by Maya Banks

Publisher: Berkley

February 2013

ISBN: 978-0-425-26704-2

Pages: 396

Contemporary, New York City

Mia Crestwell has had the biggest crush on her brother’s best friend since she was a teenager.  It doesn’t matter to her that he is fourteen years older than she is.  She knows he is completely out of her league but over the years her attraction has just gotten stronger.  Now that she is an adult there is nothing to stop her from trying to act on her desires.

Gabe Hamilton takes one look at Mia when she walks into his hotel’s grand opening and knows he is going to go to hell for the ideas and plans going through his mind. Mia may be his best friend’s little sister but she is definitely all grown up now.  Gabe is going to act on his desires since he was been waiting for a long time to do so.

As Mia moves more into Gabe’s world she finds out there is a lot more to him that she ever knew.  As their secret relationship gets more intense and their emotions get deeper it puts them at risk of being exposed.  It also makes them vulnerable to a betrayal more intimate than they expected.  They will find out just now deep their feelings goes and if they are strong enough to survive.

This is a very hot book that is hard to put down once the reader starts it.  The characters are interesting and as the story moves along the reader learns more about them and what motivates them.  This one will take readers on an emotional roller coaster that will have readers reading just to see what will happen between Mia and Gabe and if they will be able to have the happy ever after that they deserve.  This is the first book in a trilogy and will have readers wanting to read the next one just to see what happens with the two secondary characters that play a major role to this story line. This is another great book from this author and for readers that have not read her other books they will find themselves looking for more from this author.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Mine To Hold

Mine to Hold by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden

October 2013

ISBN: 978-0-98555-449-1

Pages: 265

Contemporary, Suspense

Claire Kramer has been trying to get past the fact that nine years ago her lover killed her family and also tried to kill her.  She survived but ever since she has been haunted by that incident.  She is too afraid to trust another man and worried that her past will eventually catch up to her.  Since she cannot be sure her past won’t come back to get her she keeps everyone at a distance as that is safer for her.  Then she meets a man that she can’t seem to keep away from or to keep at a distance, Noah York.

Noah York is now a billionaire tycoon and that is how everyone in the world sees him.  Before becoming a tycoon he worked covert military operations for years.  This has made sure that death and Noah are no strangers.  He knows it would be better if he stayed away from Claire but the white-hot attraction between them just won’t let him do that.  Noah is consumed by the attraction between them.

Though there is someone else that is consumed by Claire too.  Someone who will do anything, even kill to possess her.  Noah is determined to protect Claire no matter what since the alternative would be having to live without the one woman he cannot live without. 

This is a story that grabs the reader from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the very last page.  The twists and turns will have the reader trying to guess just who is behind everything that is happening and just what will happen next.  This is one story that does not disappoint in the slightest.   The action and suspense is non stop and will have readers on the very edge of their seats.  This is a romantic suspense that does not let the reader down at all.  This is the third book in a series though it can be read as a stand alone it is much better if the reader has read the first two book first. 

I give this one 5 red roses