Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday 31 July 2014

Evidence of Passion

Evidence of Passion Shadow Agents: Guts and Glory by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Harlequin

August 2014

ISBN: 978-0-373-69777-9

Pages: 219

Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Washington, DC

Rachel Mancini is an ex-lawyer now an EOD agent that trusted the wrong man and almost lost her life because of it.  Now the killer is back years later to finish the hit he missed.  Rachel’s gorgeous partner, Dylan Foxx is determined that is not going to happen as long as he is on the case.  Dylan and Rachel have been friends for years and he will do anything to keep her safe.  Knowing it could prove fatal he wants her in his arms and his bed. 

Dylan being an ex-SEAL has the skills and determination to meet every danger the twisted assassin that is obsessed with Rachel can unleash.  Dylan never had a place for a relationship in his life until the moment he sensed that Rachel wanted him as badly has he wants her. 

This is another great book in a series that is proving to have all the action any reader could possibly wish for.  The plot is different and has some great twists in it that makes for a great read.  Rachel has some damage that she has to overcome to get her happy ending and as she works through the emotional toll that her past has taken on her life it makes for an engrossing read.  Readers will hate to see this one end because it is so very intriguing and pulls the reader in with every page they turn.  This is proving to be a series that shouldn’t be missed. 

I give this one 5 red roses


State of Grace

State of Grace by Elizabeth Davies

Publisher: Elizabeth Davies

January 2014

Pages: 251

Time Travel Romance

Brecon, England

Grace only has a few months left to live and being only 27 years old she returns to her home town of Brecon.  Being in Brecon somehow catapults her 1800 years into the past.  Grace first thinks what is happening to her are hallucinations that are being caused by the tumor in her brain.  Then the visions become more detailed and closer to her time period.  She also becomes involved with Roman that is somewhat inhuman and wickedly handsome and who has an obsession with blood.  Grace is forced to face her fears as the past begins to intrude on the present and she falls deeper in love with her phantom man. 

This is the start of a trilogy that pulls the reader right in and will have them mourning when they get to the very last page. It will also have them reaching for the second book.  The characters are interesting and very relatable. The story also comes to life for the reader with every word that is read.  It is easy to picture the world Grace finds herself in with the detail that the story gives.  Reading how Grace learns to navigate a world that is completely foreign to her is fascinating especially as the rules of society are so very different then than they are now.  It makes for a book that is very hard to put down once the reader starts it.  If the other two books are like this one it is going to be a fantastic trilogy to read.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Wednesday 30 July 2014

Only With You

Only With You by Lauren Layne

Publisher: Forever

July 2014

ISBN: 978-1-455-54607-7

Pages: 368

Contemporary, Seattle, Washington

Sophie Dalton is a cocktail waitress without a life plan.  She is happy being everyone’s favorite party girl.  Suddenly at a Las Vegas bachelorette party that goes awry and she is mistaken for a prostitute by an uptight businessman she starts to wonder if she needs to rethink her priorities.  Sophie slinks back home with her damaged pride, a major hangover and swearing off her thigh high boots for good. 

Grayson Wyatt is in Seattle to open a new office and meets his newest employee.  He finds out what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there when the new employee turns out to be the very same woman he recently called a hooker.  Gray is wealthy and gorgeous and used to getting what he wants.  He quickly realizes that Sophie is smart, sassy and sexy and she is everything he has been looking for.  Now their late nights at the office are turning into hot morning-afters and they are coming to realize that their Vegas misunderstanding just might be turning into the real thing. 

This is a story that starts out fast but leads to a wonderful book that will emotionally suck the reader in.  The characters are well written and relatable.  Reading how Gray and Sophie work through their pasts and issues proves to be an engaging read.  The reader won’t want to put this one down until they find out if Sophie and Gray get their happily-ever-after.  If the other books in the series are like this one this is going to prove to be a very interesting series.  This is one book that is worth checking out. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Saturday 26 July 2014

Chill Factor

Chill Factor by Sandra Brown

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

June 2008

ISBN: 978-1-416-59352-2

Pages: 562

Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Clearly, North Carolina

Clearly is the type of town that the biggest criminal activity is parking violations.  Now though there have been four women that have disappeared without a trace over the past two years.  The only clue is a blue ribbon left at each of the abduction sites.  There are no suspects for who is abducting the woman.  Now another woman has disappeared without a trace. 

Lilly Martin has returned to the sleepy mountain town of Clearly to close on the sale of her mountain cabin that is marking the end of her marriage to Dutch Burton the town of Clearly’s chief of police.  Dutch is having a problem letting her go which is proving to be an obstacle for Lilly.  Trying to out run the storm that is bearing down on Clearly Lilly ends up skidding her car on the icy road and strikes a man that has emerged out of the woods on foot.  Lilly quickly recognizes Ben Tierney as the injured man and who she met the previous summer.  Now with the storm on top of them they are forced to wait it out at the cabin.  As the length of their confinement mounts Lilly begins to wonder if the storm is the biggest threat she faces.  The biggest danger just might be the man that is beside her. 

Now Lilly has to figure out if Ben Tierney is the feared abductor or is who he claims to be is the truth.  The man that has rescued her from harm and from the tragedy that haunts her.

This is a story that keeps the twists and turns coming throughout the whole book.  The suspense keeps building until the very end.  This is one book that pulls the reader in and doesn’t let go until the very end when everything is completely revealed.  Just as the reader thinks they have it figured out another twist comes to make them doubt everything they think they know about this one.  The action and suspense keep the story moving along at a fast pace but the reader is never lost and will stay in a story that comes to life with every word that is read.  This definitely one book that readers should take the time to read. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Catch a Ghost

Catch a Ghost by SE Jakes

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

September 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62649-038-3

Pages: 260

Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, m/m

Prophet is a former Navy SEAL and CIA spook.  He is currently a full-time pain in the ass.  And he works alone.  Working at Extreme Escapes, Ltd. his boss has now decided Proph needs a new partner.  They have also been assigned to a case that is haunted by the ghosts from Proph’s past.  Now he has to confront both head-on.

Tom Boudreauz has failed as both an FBI agent and as a sheriff.  He is a full-time believer in bad luck.  What he can’t figure out is why the head of a private contracting firm has contacted him after hunting him down.  This time around he is determined to succeed. Tom finds out that to succeed it means being the partner of EE’s most successful, lethal and annoying operative.  This first case is resurrecting his painful past though. 

Prophet and Tom must find a way together to take down the killers that are operating in the dangerous world of underworld cage matches.  It isn’t helping that they must also fight the attraction they feel for each other.  Now they are in the crossfire and these two loners must trust each other and work together so they can overcome their ghosts otherwise they will pay the ultimate price. 

This is a story that starts a series off with a bang.  It is full of action and suspense and is a book that once the reader starts they won’t want to put it down until the very last page.  It will also have them wanting the next book in the series.  If this is how the whole series goes this is going to be one series that proves to be a keeper.  The characters are interesting and damaged and reading how they work to overcome their pasts proves to be an engrossing read.  There are also humorous parts that keep it from getting too dark and gloomy.  The characters are very well written and prove to be likeable even with all their baggage.  This book leaves some threads dangling but the storyline is wrapped up very nicely. For readers that enjoy this genre this is one series that they should definitely check out.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Sunday 20 July 2014

Beneath a Navajo Moon

Beneath a Navajo Moon by Lisa Carter

Publisher: Abindgon Press

March 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4267-5799-0

Pages: 307

Inspirational Romance

1906 and Present Navajo Nation, Arizona

Erin Dawson is a cultural anthropologist that has gone to Cedar Canyon on a search for a woman that disappeared in 1906.  A place where the Navajo traditions are kept well hidden amid the red rock walls and mesas.  What also might be hidden there is evidence of criminal activity.  Erin’s search leads to her crossing paths with tribal policeman Adam Silverhorn no matter where she turns. Though when they first meet it is hardly love at first sight but every time they meet after that the sparks fly between them.

Erin and Adam are suddenly thrust into a battle that is more dangerous than either could have expected especially as they are fighting their feelings for each other.  A battle to stop an insidious drug cartel that has lead to a rise in gang violence on the reservation.  With Adam, Erin gets a view into the life of the Navajos, a view that very few outsiders ever get the chance to see.  She also gets a view into a crime ring that no one imagined existed.  As the danger rises around them Adam and Erin wonder if they will ever be able to tell each other how they truly feel.

This is a story that brings a small glimpse into the Navajos that makes for an excellent read.  For readers that enjoy inspirational romances this is one that is sure to please them.  It basically has two stories in one.  One from the past and one from the present and the way the two are interwoven together makes for a very enjoyable book.  The mystery that is woven into each story makes for a story that will keep reader turning the pages to see what will happen next and if Erin and Adam will be able to make it through the danger okay.  It will also have readers turning the pages to see if things will work out for Adam and Erin.  The story and scenery comes to life with every word that is read and readers will find it very easy to picture the mesas and canyons that are in this book. 

I give this one 4 red roses


Thursday 17 July 2014

The Kiss of Deception

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

July 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9923-2

Pages: 496

Historical, Fantasy, Young Adult

Princess Lia lives a life in a society steeped in tradition and one that follows a preordained course.  She is a First Daughter and expected to have the revered gift of sight.  Though she doesn’t have it and she knows her parents have perpetrated a sham especially when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom.  Also to a prince she has never met.

The morning of her wedding Lia flees to a distant village.  She finds a new life and becomes hopeful when two handsome and mysterious strangers arrive.  What she doesn’t know is that one is the jilted prince and the other is an assassin sent to kill her.  Lia is on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets even as deception abounds and she finds herself falling in love.

This is story that draws readers in with the mystery that is woven through the romance.  It will keep readers turning the pages to find out what will happen next.  The story comes to life for the reader with the vivid picture that is painted with every word that is read.  The reader will find themselves getting lost in Lia’s world and wondering how things will work out. This is the first book in a series so while some of the questions are answered it does leave a cliff hanger at the end and the overall plot is not resolved in this book.  So while there are still many questions that need to be answered it is still a great story that will have readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


Scandalous Summer Nights

Scandalous Summer Nights Box Set

Publisher: Jennifer Haymore

June 2014

Pages: 632

Historical Romance

England & Scotland

The Widow Vanishes (Prequel to the Heart of Enquiry series) by Grace Callaway

Annabel Foster had a brief disastrous marriage that has left her with her dead husband’s debt.  She is also at the mercy of a menacing cutthroat.  Now the only way to pay off the monstrous sum is either death or selling her body.  She steels herself for the worst on her first night at the bawdy house but what she doesn’t expect is the unexpected passion she discovers instead.

William McLeod is a former soldier that has left both his privileged family and his regiment behind him.  He is haunted by his past and makes his living as a guard in London’s underworld.  He is offered one night with a tempting wench and instead of just slacking his lust he finds a passion beyond compare. 

Annabel and William are on opposite sides of a cat-and-mouse game.  They have to find a way to overcome both betrayal and an evil enemy.  They also need to find out if the passion they found together in one night is enough to lead to a lifetime of love.

Scandal Before Sunrise (Book 1 of the Weekly Scandal) by Sabrina Darby

Abigail Billings is bad girl that loves fun and excitement.  With a wit that flows after a few glasses of wine.  And she most definitely loves the boys.  Three years before she fled London ahead of a scandal but now she is back.  Abigail is determined this time around she is going to make a respectable and advantageous match. At least before anyone finds out that there is nothing behind her father’s title except even more scandal.  Everything would be fine if the Honorable Elliot Jones wasn’t so determined to bring her to ruin.

Jones is the younger son of an earl that did his duty by fighting for England and has happily put it behind him.  He is drawn to the fast set, the one that pairs poetry and wagers.  Not to mention the gossip.  It is also that gossip that tells him that there is a great deal more to Abigail than her high neckline, beauty and straight-laced attitude suggests. 

She is a contradiction he is determined to solve because behind every modest smile is a sharp gaze and a trapped free spirit.  At first it is just for fun he is determined to make Abigail crack.  Soon though it becomes so much more as the music and moonlight lead to romance and love.  He might not have thought he was ready to settle down but now he knows the only thing that will make him truly happy is to have Abigail as his wife. 

A Highlander’s Heart (Highland Knights, Book 1) by Jennifer Haymore

When Lady Claire Campbell last saw her husband she told him that she hated him and never wanted to see him again.  Now he is off fighting Napoleon, and it might end up being too late to tell him she is sorry.

Major Sir Robert Campbell figured he would never see his English wife again.  He is convinced he is seeing an angel when she appears on the battlefield after the bloody conflict of Waterloo. 

After the battle Rob is ordered to London on Crown business.  Claire follows desperate to fix their broken marriage.  Rob suffered a concussion on the battlefield but he knows some wounds go much deeper than that.  And some never heal.

Lord Lucifer’s Disciple (Haberdashers Nights) by Sue London

An heiress has turned away every suitor that she has until the night she meets a mysterious foreigner at a masque ball.  With him one kiss ignites a passion in her that she has never known before and yet he refuses her pleas to elope.  Now she has to figured out if she has fallen in love and lost her heart to a man that doesn’t really exist.

John Howards has always been shy but finally he accepts an invitation to one of his cousin’s masque balls.  So he decides to go in the guise of his friend from the Congress of Vienna.  He didn’t expect the freedom the role would give him and the confidence to flirt with a beautiful woman.  Most certainly he didn’t expect his interest to be returned by her.  An illicit night in the gardens leads to regrets for John and now he has to see if he can convince her to marry him for himself.

Elisa Jarvis has made it to one and twenty without falling prey to a fortune hunter.  Though now her guardian is pressuring her to marry in less than a fortnight before her next birthday.  She is determined to find the love of her life and will not be distracted by the latest dull gentleman that has come to court her. 

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (What Happens in Scotland, Book 1) by Kate McKinley

Lucas Alexander is the ninth Duke of Arlington and a man that is used to getting what he wants.  So when he first sees Miss Pippa Welby across the ballroom he is determined to make her his.  Pippa is both bold and spirited and has vowed to never marry into the haute ton.  Lucas is determined to win her even if it is the only way he knows how but one wicked kiss at a time.

Pippa is the daughter of a wealthy tradesman and she has been sneered at by the upper echelons all her life.  Pippa hatches a daring plan when a duke shows up on her doorstep with an invitation to her own engagement ball to him in just ten days.  She risks losing her heart if she can’t lose the duke in ten days before the ball.

Miss Amelia Lands a Duke (a prequel to The Caversham Chronicles) by Sandy Raven

Amelia is a spinster that accepts a position to be a companion to her social-climbing aunt.  Her aunt is already planning her next wedding before even being out of mourning for her second husband.  Her aunt is stalking the very elusive widower and obscenely rich Duke of Caversham.

Amelia is horrified by her aunt’s behavior so she hides away in their host’s gardens and library for the duration of their visit.  One evening walking through the maze she meets an older gentleman that both intrigues and arouses her.  Before even learning his name she flees.  She later stumbles across the same gentleman a couple of days later in the library where he astonishes her with a kiss.  Even more astonishing she kisses him back. 

Now Amelia and the duke are caught in an embrace by her aunt.  Amelia flees because of her embarrassment at her own wanton behavior and the mistaken belief that he was only using her to escape her obsessed relative.  After the duke confronts Amelia’s aunt he feels the only honorable thing to do is to make plans to marry Amelia.  He just doesn’t ask her first.

Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender (Wicked Liaisons, Book 1) by Vivienne Westlake

Rowena is the countess of Northam and finds to her surprise that her former suitor is returning from India and not only that will be staying in the same house as she is staying at.  He appears in her room late one night and she can only surmise it must be a dream.  Though her fantasy quickly becomes reality when Simon makes every effort to seduce her. 

Simon is determined to get Rowena back now that she is a widow and despite a six-year absence and the fact that she married his best friend.  While her body craves him it quickly becomes clear that she doesn’t trust him enough to give him her heart.  Simon has to decide if he can get past her betrayal and convince her to surrender to the greatest love either one of them has ever known.

This is a wonderful mix of stories that are sure to please everyone.  It also gives readers a chance to try new to them authors while also reading some of their favorite authors.  It will also have readers wanting to read the other books in the series.  Some are the perfect length though some will have readers wishing they were longer and with a better resolution to the story. It also has some great Scottish heroes that make for some very hot reading.  This is worth getting because it has a great assortment of stories.  They can also be read at different times and don’t have to be read all at once but most readers will find themselves reluctant to put it down for long.

I give this 4-1/2 red roses


Tuesday 1 July 2014

Bride of a Scottish Warrior

Bride of a Scottish Warrior by Adrienne Basso

Publisher: Zebra

July 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4201-2904-5

Pages: 352

Historical, Romance


Sir Ewan Gilroy is newly knighted and in desperate need of a dowry and a wife.  Ewan is famed for his charm but widowed Lady Grace is determined that it will not work on her.  Ewan feels that Grace’s plans to enter a convent is a waste of both her beauty and her fortune.  Even with her family urging the match Grace proves to be a challenge for Ewan as no woman has ever proven to be in the past.  She proves to be his equal in both spirit and passion.

Grace feels that to atone for her past she must never remarry.  Most certainly not to a brash and reckless warrior.  Yet Ewan proves to be man beyond compare no matter if he is defending her honor or stroking the desire that she never dreamed she possessed.  With the newly formed trust between them threatened by treachery, Grace must decide if she wants to reach for the happiness that is suddenly within her reach.  And if she is willing to fight for the love of one very bold Highlander.

This is story that takes readers back in history and brings that time to life.  The story comes to vivid life with every word that this read.  The characters are interesting and the plot pulls the reader into the story more and more with every page that is turned.  The reader will get lost into another time and place and will mourn when the story is over even with the satisfactory ending.  The action moves the story line along well and keeps the reader engaged with the story.  It also gives some history for the time period that makes for an interesting read.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


The Wickedest Lord Alive

The Wickedest Lord Alive by Christina Brooke

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

July 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-02936-2

Pages: 320

Historical, Romance, Regency


Lizzie Allbright is the daughter of Lord Bute and eight years ago, a handsome, tall stranger come to her bedchamber to consummate their marriage that was of the utmost necessity. She was wedded and bedded to the Marquis of Steyne in payment of his mother’s gambling debts.  Once it was consummated Lizzie disappeared into the London night.

Marquis of Steyne has nearly forgotten his runaway bride but suddenly he finds himself in need of an heir.  His only choice is to track down the bride that disappeared on their wedding night.  He finds her living happily and under an assumed name in a small village.  Lizzie never expected to see her husband again so is surprised when he shows up. The strong attraction she feels for him is completely unexpected.  She is shocked when he asks her to bear him a son.  Now she has to figure out a way to have repeat of the heated night as the one they had when they were wed and not fall in love with her husband. 

This is a book that starts out fast and doesn’t stop.  It has some suspense woven throughout the plot that makes the story even more intriguing.   The characters back story is told throughout the book in a way that is well written and the reader is never lost as to what is happening when.  As each character works to overcome the past to find happiness in the future it pulls the reader into the story and will keep them turning the pages as they read to see just what will happen next and if they will find their happily ever after.  This is a hard book to put down once the reader starts it.  They will want to keep reading until the very end.  This is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.  Though if the rest of the series proves to be like this book readers will want to go back and read the first books in the series just to meet and learn more about the other characters. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


From Pack to Pride

From Pack to Pride by Amber Kell

Publisher: Total-E-Bound

January 2011

ISBN: 978-0-85715-377-7

Pages: 60

Contemporary, Paranormal, shapeshifters, m/m

Washington State

Adrian is a wolf shifter that is sent to live with a pride of lions for his own safety.  What Adrian doesn’t know that the alpha of the lions saw the picture of Adrian and knew they were mates.  Now Adrian is being culled from his pack by Talan, the alpha of the pride.

Talan now has six months to convince Adrian that they are meant to be.  Talan is determined to persuade Adrian to stay with his pride forever but first Talan is going to have to take care of the psychotic wolf that is trying to kill Adrian.

This is a start of series that starts out very well. The story is fun and humorous and moves at a fast pace.  The characters are interesting and will have readers wanting to read more from this series.  While the books might not be want some readers like those that enjoy this genre will find some great characters that they will want to visit again and again.  It has action which makes for some funny reading as the character have some great personalities.  This is definitely one to try.  The only down side is that it isn’t a longer read.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses


The Bachelor Doctor's Bride

The Bachelor Doctor’s Bride by Caro Carson

Publisher: Harlequin

May 2014

ISBN: 978-0-373-65816-9

Pages: 218

Contemporary, Romance

Quinn MacDowell is a cardiologist that has no time for affairs of the heart except those related to his job.  When Quinn meets bubbly Diana Connor he is determined to keep his hands and his heart to himself even if she is the one woman that has managed to get underneath his white coat.  He is too serious for someone that peppy.  At least that is what he tells himself.

Diana Connor just can’t seem to get past Quinn’s icy fa├žade no matter how hard she tries.  Hunky Quinn must want someone that doesn’t come with all the baggage that Diana comes with.  Though they seem to be polar opposites it doesn’t seem to matter as they work side by side and are both hit by Cupid’s arrow.  There is no cure then.

This is a fun story about opposites attracting each other and how they work through their differences.  Watching Quinn and Diana work through the obstacles that are in their way to happiness is fun and pull the reader into the story.  This is part of a series but can easily be read as a standalone though it is sure to have readers wanting to read the other books.  The characters are believable and seeing how they overcome the things in their pasts make for a very good read.  It also proves to be a fast read and has a very satisfying end. 

I give this one 4 red roses