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Romance Reviews Long and Short Reviews

Updated: 2017-01-31T04:30:22.259-05:00


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December Romance Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ For the Love of the Goblin King by Shona Husk



For The Love Of A Goblin Warrior by Shona Husk
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (276 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint


In a Faraway Land...

There lived a man who was trapped—his only companions a horde of goblins consumed by their lust for gold. He thought he was lost forever, thought that no one would ever remember he'd been noble.

A Fearless Warrior.

Now he has been thrust into the human world once again, but so much has changed. How can he ever be rid of the darkness after so long in the Shadowlands?

It Starts with Dreams of a Castle...

And a woman who takes his breath away and makes him forget the pain of his past. He knows he must protecet her at all costs. And perhaps in saving her, he can finally learn to love again.


For The Love Of A Goblin Warrior by Shona Husk


For The Love Of A Goblin Warrior by Shona HuskPublisher: Sourcebooks CasablancaGenre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy Length: Full Length (276 pgs)Heat Level: SweetRating: 5 starsReviewed by Peppermint In a Faraway Land... There lived a man who was trapped—his only companions a horde of goblins consumed by their lust for gold. He thought he was lost forever, thought that no one would ever remember he'd been noble. A Fearless Warrior. Now he has been thrust into the human world once again, but so much has changed. How can he ever be rid of the darkness after so long in the Shadowlands? It Starts with Dreams of a Castle... And a woman who takes his breath away and makes him forget the pain of his past. He knows he must protecet her at all costs. And perhaps in saving her, he can finally learn to love again. It wasn't Merlyn's fault that he had let the anger and pain consume him until he embraced the goblin curse. After years of caring about nothing but finding more gold, Merlyn needs to not only adjust to being human once more, but to the modern ways of humans. The way Nadine and Merlyn's stories intertwine made the story entertaining. They may not have ever met one another, but their lives, as well as those around them, seem to all be brought together by one common link: the Goblin curse. Though Merlyn and his family were the only ones to suffer the actual curse, the fact that others had to deal with it both in the past as well as the present added an interesting twist to the story. It made me want to read more, and see if they could discover how much they truly had in common as well as see if they could get past what can possibly destroy their budding relationship. Nadine's story was one of tragedy and strength. Nadine was robbed of a loving family, which could have broken her as a child and into her adulthood. Instead of letting this deny her a good future she found the strength, even as a child, to keep hope alive and continue to live her life. I can see how this can be inspirational to many, including Merlyn who needs someone's strength as well as his own to help him deal with the changes he has to learn to accept. Merlyn is a man of honor even if he doesn't believe in it. He shows how there is strength in being a quiet observer and how it can help one grow. He made me want to go find a park bench to sit on just to find out what I can learn from the world around me. While I enjoyed all of the previous stories featuring his family and men in arms, Merlyn has a strength even after such a tragic story that makes him a stand out. I am not sure if this is the last story of this series, and I am crossing my fingers hoping I can see Merlyn and Nadine again, even if only in my dreams. [...]

Pack of Lies by Kimila Bowling


Pack of Lies by Kimila BowlingPublisher: The Wild Rose PressGenre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/MysteryLength: Full Length (178 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by TulipFor as long as Rae Taylor can remember, she's felt others' emotions as if they were her own. With the untimely death of her grandmother, she leaves the city and returns to the quiet town of New Haven, hoping emotions won't interfere while she mourns her loss.Gage Archer has also returned home to New Haven and to the pack he left behind. Luke Bainer views Gage as a threat to both his growing alpha position and his attraction to Rae. Developing feelings for a woman outside the pack can be dangerous. Where Gage will do anything to keep Rae safe, Luke has other ideas. As Rae struggles to control her special talent, no one is aware her gift is linked to a secret. A secret that could destroy Rae and the pack. A dark twist on this compelling shifter romance from debut author Kamila Bowling. Readers will be captivated with this sensual love story. It grabs you with the first page and won't let go until the last. It's a twisted tale of secrets, lust and murder. Can I just say: I loved it and can't wait for more from this promising new author. Death brought Rae Taylor back to the town of New Haven. All she wants is to mourn the loss of her Grandmother, the last of her family. Instead, she's fighting off the unwanted advances of an old friend. Her old friend, Luke, seems to think he has some claim on her. But Rae is more interested in exploring her renewed acquantance with Gage, the boy she once shared a sultry kiss with one long ago summer. And the atmosphere of the town where she spent so many of her childhood summers has changed to one of malevolence. Some of the townsfolk are using intimidation and violence to control the town. And wild wolves are attacking people all over town...including Rae, who is rescued by a mysterious black wolf. She is intrigued by her mysterious protector and the growing bond between them. Gage Archer left town amid suspicions that he murdered his girlfriend. Now, he's back to protect the girl he wanted all those years ago. A loyal friend to Luke, Gage walked away from Rae, the girl they both wanted to claim. But Luke has changed and so has Gage. He regrets leaving all those years ago so he's not running any longer. If Luke want's Rae then he'll have to fight Gage for her. When a string of murders and wolf attacks start back up suspicion turns toward Gage and the black wolf. Either he's guilty or someone is going to a lot of trouble to make it look like he is. Rae's not sure what to believe. She just knows there's a close bond between her, Gage, and her wolf protector. Luke is a ruthless would-be Alpha who takes what he wants. He uses his job as sherriff to control the town and its women. And now he's staked a claim on Rae, his old girlfriend. But first he'll have to turn her against Gage. Pack of Lies is a dark and twisted tale of passion and intrigue. Passion for love and passion for killing. One is sweet, one is dark. One man is good - wanting only to protect. One man is evil - wanting only to dominate and destroy. Rae's life is on the line as she decides which man to trust. I really enjoyed this story with all of its dark edgy passion. Rae was a unique heroine who changed a lot during the story. Boy, did she ever. And Gage was one dreamy hero. Every girl oughta have one just like him. And I loved all those twists and turns the story took with bad guys coming out of the woodwork, surprises and secrets revealed left and right, and one hell of climactic ending that came way too soon. Pack of Lies left me wanting more from this promising new author. [...]

Mine to Keep by Jannine Corti-Petska


Mine to Keep by Jannine Corti-PetskaPublisher: Wild Rose PressGenre: Historical Length: Short Story (123 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by Fern Lady Elizabella Aldrich receives notice of an inheritance in Padua, Italy. Arriving from England, she discovers another heir lays claim to the castle. An unreasonably handsome Italian rogue stands between her and the castle she’s inherited. Leonardo Da Mitri never met the noble who included him in his will. But after one look at Lady Eliza he relishes the challenge of defeating the beauty to make the castle his own. Astonished to learn they must wed and remain married for a year, it soon becomes apparent someone does not want the nuptials to take place. As Eliza fights her growing desire for Leo, he fights for his life. Will he walk away from his inheritance—and Eliza? Or is he willing to risk everything to stay married to the woman who has claimed his heart as hers... to keep? Lady Elizabeth Godwin has inherited a castle. Though not a wealthy, land-endowed one of her fantasties, it’s hers and Lady Elizabeth is determined to make the best of it. Leonardo Da Mitri’s solicitor informs him he’s been endowed with an Italian castle upon Lord Calendri’s death. Surprised, as he’s not of noble blood, Leo nevertheless decides to follow where his fortune might lay. Both Leo and Lady Elizabeth insist on the solicitor explaining how they can both be in possession of the same castle. What follows are certain conditions that shock and secretly entice them both. A wonderful historical novella, this story made me laugh, sigh and thoroughly enjoy both Elizabeth and Leo’s adventure. While the language sometimes made me pause – with both the old style of speaking and a few Italian words peppered in neither of these detracted from the story. Both Leo and Elizabeth could be stubborn and difficult, their attraction was undeniable. The spice their relationship and interactions brought to the book really made it sparkle. Hard core historical readers might find some nit-picks, but I really enjoyed the world, settings and characters. The romance builds slowly but is no less sensual because of that. The author manages to juggle the history elements, different social settings and intertwine an intriguing plot to wrap it up into a wonderful book I thoroughly enjoyed.[...]

That Night on Thistle Lane by Carla Neggers


That Night on Thistle Lane by Carla NeggersPublisher: MiraGenre: Contemporary, MysteryLength: 360 pagesHeat Level: SensualRating: 4.5 StarsReview by: CamelliaMore than just make-believe Librarian Phoebe O'Dunn deals in stories, but her passion for history has taught her that happy endings are rare. Her life in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, is safe and uneventful…until she discovers the hidden room.Among its secrets is a cache of vintage clothing, including a spectacular gown—perfect for a gala masquerade in Boston. In the guise of a princess, Phoebe is captivated by a handsome swashbuckler who's also adopted a more daring persona. Noah Kendrick's wealth has made him wary, especially of women: everybody wants something.When Noah and Phoebe meet again in Knights Bridge, at first neither recognizes the other. And neither one is sure they can trust the magic of the night they shared—until an unexpected threat prompts them to unmask their truest selves.After all, it takes more than just the right costume to live out your personal fairy tale. It takes heart…and the courage to be more than you ever dreamed.Maybe it’s “the ghost”, maybe fate, or maybe just Phoebe O’Dunn losing her marbles and accidently finding the door to the secret room in the library attic. Regardless of how she finds it, it changes her life and entices her out of her comfort zone. It makes her take a close look at who she is and what her hopes and dreams really are.Phoebe is a “good soul”, content, comfortable in her own skin, sensible, dependable, protective of her family and friends and helpful to all. As director of the public library in Knights Bridge, she touches many lives from the children to the senior citizens that lived at the assisted-living community. “Once burned, twice shy”. she’s had no romantic relationship since her fiancé jilted her within two days of her father’s death. But in the secret room something nudges her. The gorgeous Edwardian dress she finds with all its accessories makes her long for more. All alone, she attends the masquerade ball in Boston dressed in the Edwardian costume with a unique mask—just to watch, she tells herself.She has her “Cinderella night”, her night of mystery. A lean, smooth muscled swashbuckler with fantastic blue eyes, and sexy voice, says, “Dance with me”. They glide with grace about the dance floor and everyone admires. He makes her feel like she is floating on air, sexy, wanted and more—desired. She slips away. As she leaves, she hears a one-sided phone conversation with her swashbuckler mentioned—she feels uneasy. Noah Kendricks, ex-CEO of NAK, a high-tech entertainment business, is a billionaire with more money coming in all the time, is visiting his longtime friend and business associate Dylan MacCaffrey. Dylan has been invaluable in the building of NAK. While Noah created ideas, Dylan had watched his back and taken care of the business end of the fast growing corporation. They are both trying to find their footing after leaving the day-by-day running of NAK in the capable hands of others. In Knights Bridge, where Dylan’s fiancée Olivia Frost lives, they both stick out like a sore thumb.Noah doesn’t do anything halfway. Something happened when he and the mesmerizing lady in the Edwardian dress danced. He wants to find her and enlists Dylan to help. They set Knights Bridge’s population abuzz when word gets out about their very own librarian Phoebe and the billionaire Californian with the tabloid reputation.How Phoebe and Noah maneuver their way through the tangled web of scary emotions, the best-intended meddling of friends and family, and the logistics of homes a continent apart. They cope with an undercurrent of mystery and suspense that makes them edgy. All this gives the reader a vicarious experience not to be missed.Carla Neggers, with her artistic style, deals with life issues like death, grief, secrets, and [...]

Holiday With a Vampire 4 by Susan Krinard, Theresa Meyers and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom


Holiday With a Vampire 4 by Susan Krinard, Theresa Meyers and Linda Thomas-SundstromPublisher: HarlequinGenre: Holiday, Contemporary, ParanormalLength: Full Length (357 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by NymphaeaDon't be afraid to snuggle up with these sexy, immortal heroes. They will weave their way into your fantasies and spice up your cold winter nights.Halfway to Dawn by Susan Krinard Amid a supernatural war between the races, can Fiona, captain of the human special forces, and Kane, a compelling fugitive from the vampire army, risk working together to attain peace on earth? The Gift by Theresa Meyers All Cullen McCormack wants for Christmas is the missing locket that holds the key to his immortality. But will Angelica, the woman who now flaunts it about her exquisite neck, also claim his vampire heart? Bright Star by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom Immortal Dylan McCay has vowed to protect the secret origins of his species at all costs—until he meets Savannah, a passionate astronomer on the brink of discovering the elusive Christmas Star…. Three stories guaranteed to warm up the holidays!! Each author writes with a smooth flair that kept me in my seat. I couldn't put the books down because I had to know what would happen. Although the three stories aren't connected, I had no problems losing myself in their worlds and zipping through this anthology in a couple of hours. Halfway to Dawn poses the human-vampire conflict trope, but it's written in a fresh way. Fiona and Kane might be on the opposite sides of the war, but I couldn't help but want them to get together. I could understand where both were coming from. Kane wants to be his own man--no longer under the rule of the vampires. Fiona wants the war to be over. Hey, who can argue? And when they come together for the holiday and spicy hot scenes, it's totally worth it. In The Gift, the locket's the thing. Okay, so Cullen's soul is stuck in a locket. To get free, the woman who owns said locket must choose him as her true love. Sounds easy, but it's not. He's on his fifth go-round. I felt for Cullen. The guy wants a break and if it means being Angelica's, then so be it. The note from Angelica's mother was a tad strange, but then, I suppose if someone told me there was a strange man attached to a locket, I might fear him, too. But I liked the story and I loved how Ms Meyers wove in the Christmas spirit. Definitely a keeper.Bright Star was my favorite. I love the work of Ms Thomas-Sundstrom and this story didn't disappoint. Savannah wants the man of her dreams for Christmas. She also happens to be looking for the elusive Christmas star. Finding both would be beyond her wildest dreams, but why not be wild? Dylan doesn't want her to find the star. If she finds it, she'll open up a whole new can of worms. I love how these two come together and how Dylan struggles with his mission over his feelings. It's a white hot read that you won't want to miss.If you're looking for a paranormal twist on the holidays, then this might be the book for you! [...]

Wait Until Dark by M. L. Buchman


Wait Until Dark by M. L. BuchmanPublisher: SourcebooksGenre: ContemporaryLength: Full Length (376 pages)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 5 starsReviewed by Camellia Name: Big John Wallace Rank: Staff Sergeant, Chief Mechanic and Gunner Mission: To serve and protect his crew and country. Name: Connie Davis Rank: Sergeant, Flight Engineer, Mechanical Wizard Mission: To be the best...and survive. Two Crack Mechanics, One Impossible Mission Being in The Night Stalkers is Connie Davis's way of facing her demons head-on, but mountain-strong John Wallace is a threat on all fronts. Their passion is explosive, but their conflicts are insurmountable. When duty calls them to a mission no one else could survive, they'll fly into the night together—ready or not. Heart-in-throat, adrenaline-pumping action immediately pulls the reader into a lethal situation in the dark of night—the night stalkers' world. Whether it is the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan, the Ukraine, the white cold of Sweden or just the training grounds of Nevada to test new equipment in the Black Hawk, the reader is swept into a hi-tech military world that boggles the mind and sends the heart racing; then comes the exquisite love story that is woven into Wait Until Dark. It puts the emotions into a veritable tail spin. The many levels of love that reach to the depth of the soul and bring tears, smiles, laughter, and deep-down satisfaction make this story memorable. Sergeant Connie Davis, mechanic and gunner on the Black Hawk Vengeance, knows what she bargained for when she drove herself to the limit to become a member of SOAR (a night stalker). She is ever aware that death can be a nanosecond away, but doing her part to complete a mission drives away her demons and gives her life purpose. Alone in the world and always an outsider, she finds herself in unfamiliar territory with Staff Sergeant John Wallace, chief mechanic and gunner on the Vengeance. Connie is a complex character that the reader comes to know bit by piece as she does her job with a speed and efficiency that her superiors have never seen before. Professionally she is confident but in personal life, she flounders, always guarding against getting emotionally hurt. She already has all the hurt she can bear. Getting to know the true Connie is like peeling an onion a layer at the time. She is truly a work in progress that allows the reader to see her mesmerizing metamorphosis. When she switches her remarkable ability to concentrate from work to lovemaking—WOW! And when her own unassuming self wins the hearts of the Wallace family, one feels like celebrating to know she is loved for the person she is—flaws and all. Her relationship with Grumps, John’s grandfather, is eloquent in its own rusty-tractor-repairing way. Their connection with and acceptance of each other is something special that the reader is privileged to vicariously share. Big John Wallace and Connie work together with professional ease and trust. She is quiet and calm and in sync with him as they keep the Black Hawk ready and fit for the demands made on it. He is easy-going, humorous, likeable, steady, a good friend, loyal and has the ability to help Connie feel safe like she has not felt since she was thirteen years old. His connection with people is something that she has never had. His family adores him as he does them. But all their love has never wiped away his feeling of not belonging. Yet he admits he does what he does to try to make their world a safe place. How he and Connie complete each other and how unconditional family love slips in and gives redemption to both of them makes spellbinding reading. M L. Buchman’s ability to keep the reader right in the middle of the action is amazing. The detailed descriptions about missions, the feel of the Black Hawk as it takes enemy fire, the hair-raising scraps through mountain passes, the in[...]

Transitions by D.A. Lascelles


Transitions by D.A. LascellesPublisher: Mundania Press, LLCGenre: Contemporary, Historical, ParanormalLength: Short Story (61 pgs)Heat Level: sweetRating: 3 starsReviewed by Lavender Transitions takes us on a journey through time. In modern day Birmingham , a group of university students become embroiled in a love story almost 2,000 years old as the ghost of Gaius Lucius, a Roman officer tries to reclaim his lost love. What can Helen, a driven and ambitious student with high hopes for the future, do to solve this ancient riddle? And why is Brandon making late night visits to her house with tokens of love?What happens when a desperate Roman soldier from ancient times has only one shot at his goal, and that means arriving in modern-day England to make things happen? Gaius Lucius is a hard working, sincere, Roman who is losing his beloved wife. He tries everything to save her, but she’s sick, dying. His last option is so unconventional that he’d normally laugh it off as a joke. However, there are no other options. Gotta give the guy points for fighting to the end for love. He shows up on a college campus in a non-corporeal form to disturb the lives of some students. This story flips back and forth between his tale in the past, and that of the present college students. Their perception of the occurrences is frightening. Brandon is a loner, Helen is ambitious yet not confident in her physical appearance, and her friend Tina is easygoing and likeable. At first, Helen does something to make her unlikeable. She accidentally hurts Brandon but is then in too much of a hurry to assist him as he’s lying on the ground bleeding. Brandon may be a loner, but he has things to recommend him. Then strange things happen to him, mainly, the Roman starts to take over his life. Things get really weird for him. For an odd reason, he likes Helen, the woman who knocked him over then ran off. He can’t stop thinking about her. Next, Helen keeps thinking about him. A possible romance is in the offing. Helen, Brandon, and their friends, as well as the Roman are realistically drawn. The style and language of the story are presented well. The mystery in the plot keeps things going. One doesn’t know what to expect. This is a unique story of one love found and another lost.[...]

Lone Star Joy by Kathleen Ball


Lone Star Joy by Kathleen Ball Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Genre: contemporary, suspense/mystery Length: short story (130 pages)Heat Level: sensualRating: 4 StarsReviewed by Sunflower Sexy, Cowboy, Stamos Walker runs a work release program for nonviolent male prisoners. When Joy Courtland shows up on his doorstep, he assumes she's the nanny. He hands her his son and rushes out to work. Joy, a convicted felon, bonds with little Dillon immediately. Stamos isn't happy when he returns and finds out Joy is not the nanny. While trying to get Joy back to prison through the proper channels, Stamos realizes Joy is not a killer. He doesn't want her to go back to prison. Stamos is willing to try everything he can to keep Joy safe even if it means marriage. Joy has a new shot at life, if someone doesn't ruin it for her first. The opening of Lone Star Joy had me intrigued right away. The heroine, Joy, has just been released from prison on a work release, and I wondered, what she could have done..... It isn't easy for her, though. She has a past that promises to catch up to her. Not everyone wants to give her a second chance. Not when they know exactly what they claimed she did. Not when she spent years in prison for a crime that anyone would cringe over. Yet Joy has this kindness about her. She also has this fear and worry. But this woman is one strong character and she's had to endure a lot if her life, only to keep getting it piled on. I like Joy. She held promise right from the start, and all I wanted was to know her story, and how she got where she did. Thank goodness for men like Stamos, that believes in second chances. What can I say about Stamos? He's one heck of a hero. He runs a ranch, has an adorable son, and he believes in people. Though at first glance at her file, he can't have Joy on the ranch, but a series of events keep her there, and Stamos gets a glimpse of what Joy is really like. That makes him start to wonder... The one thing about Stamos is that he has a caring heart. He's very willing to help. There was one spot in the book, however that he has a huge character flaw. There was a scene where he acted too much out of character, completely out of nowhere, and there was no rhyme or reason why, especially when he'd been so understanding and kind throughout the rest of the story. Still, overall the story flowed well. The chemistry between Joy and Stamos was believable and executed well. The conflicts and tension arise, and it only made their want and need even stronger. The suspense element played out well. There were a few secrets and surprises revealed. It's a great blend of contemporary and suspense. Ms. Ball has done a great job with this book. If you need a dose of romance, mystery and well created characters, why don't you have a little Lone Star Joy of you own? [...]

Sarah Quanli by Jackson Keene


Sarah Quanli by Jackson KeenePublisher: Treble Heart BooksGenre: historical Length: Full (329 pgs)Heat level: SpicyRating: 3 starsReview by Snapdragon The beautiful yet deceitful Rossalyn McDonald had twisted the knife deep in David Adam MacDougall’s big heart. He was extraordinarily handsome: chiseled muscles, kindly soul, thoughtful personality, and totally faithful. Any other lass in his Scottish Highlands village would have cheated her own sister to become his bride. Now David’s entire being felt broken. He felt into a thousand pieces. Now he only wanted to reach the faraway city of Beiping China where he was called to be a missionary. But before arriving in that mysterious mistress of the orient, he would face uncertain dangers. The year is 1904. The bloody Boxer Rebellion is only four years past. Much of northern China still seethes with undercurrents of resentment and hatred of all things Western. If David can just make it to the ancient city with body and soul intact, if he can just survive, there he’ll find his new purpose, his new home, and his new people. There, he’ll meet the woman he comes to believe is the love of his life. The lithe, athletic, saucy, highly intelligent and equally independent Xiu Li!As a basketball fan, the new novel ‘Sarah Quanli’ seemed promising on so many levels: billed as ‘A Story of Betrayal, Death, Love. And Basketball.” With that in mind, the story set off unexpectedly: from an unanticipated time, and chased by an entirely unpredictable plot. The story line is the absolute best part of ‘Sarah Quanli.’ However, the writing style is frustrating; at times long-winded, at other times, just plain confusing. Big hearted and broken-hearted, David Adam MacDougall sets off to become a missionary in Beiping, Northern China, in 1904. He leaves behind a full life: both friends and family, and the woman he so loved. His good friends are well established –as are his own religious beliefs, inherent athleticism, and sense of fair play. There are many instances when we see how his inner strength carries him through adversity. Yet, his love for Rossalyn sets him at odds with a cousin, then others. David, miserable, will eventually set off across the sea…It is merely the beginnings of his adventure. Bandits and ruffians await, new friendships and challenges, as does, perhaps, another chance at love. Throughout it all, he clings strongly to his Christian beliefs. Although I had a preconceived (and completely wrong) idea about what to expect, derived from “basketball’’ in the description, I was not disappointed at all in this very different-than-anticipated story. Mr. Keene’s vision is plainly original and the story itself is unpredictable and engaging. Yet, the writing style or editorial choices often interrupt the tale’s flow. The quality of the storyline deserved far better than a 3 star rating – but the challenge in reading this brought down the score. Still, for a thoroughly original story, do read ‘Sarah Quanli.’[...]

Body Heat by Susan Fox


Body Heat by Susan FoxPublisher: Kensington Genre: contemporaryLength: Full Length (320 pages)Heat Level: spicyRating: 4.5 StarsReviewed by Sunflower It's Getting Hot In Here. . . Maura Mahoney expects to spend her thirtieth birthday the way she's spent so many others. She'll work at the Cherry Lane retirement community, have a quiet dinner with her parents, and end the evening with a solo hot chocolate before turning in early. Sedate, but safe. Then Jesse Blue turns up at Cherry Lane, ready to do community service to avoid jail time. And suddenly, prim, by-the-books Maura can't stop thinking about a sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy who seems wrong for her in almost every way. But beneath his gruff exterior, Jesse is a man of surprises. He's filling the once drab community center with color and life. He's bonding with the residents. And he's prompting scorching, wild dreams Maura would never be bold enough to act on. Or would she? Because the way Jesse looks at her, Maura could swear that this heated, smoldering attraction runs both ways. . . Trouble comes in all shapes and sizes. But trouble is definitely NOT welcome at Cherry Lane. A little too late, because Trouble just walked in. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to Jesse Blue, and readers are about to discover the truth beneath his rough exterior. The line may be cliché, but you've heard of it: don't judge a book by it's cover. And don't judge a person by their exterior appearance. It doesn't help that there's a record with that gruff look, but still, you can look past that too, right? Maura isn't too sure of this Jesse character coming into Cherry Lane, but let's just say that Jesse entering her life changes things for her. Maura is a people pleaser. She's always had to be. She had to please her guardians, be the perfect child, and now that she's older that has just kind of stuck. Some think she's an ice queen. It's not something Maura is very happy about, which is understandable. She and Jesse are polar opposites, have had different backgrounds, but they have a mutual understanding of each other in some aspects. Their sexual chemistry comes on strong and only gets more intense as the story goes along. Maura doesn't want to feel the way she does for Jesse, for various reasons. She has a tendency of driving me nuts, but I can relate to Maura on multiple levels. Watching her grow during the book was a pleasure. I love her strength and her ability to accept people as they are, even if it isn't at first glance. Where to start with Jesse? He's a flawed hero, indeed, but isn't everyone full of imperfections? Jesse has a good heart, through, which is what makes him so lovable. Even though he dis something that in the eyes of others wasn't right, he stands by his actions with a firmness like you wouldn't believe. He has this soft side with wanting to help others. The mystery of Jesse was like Christmas presents. You only get a hint here or there, the anticipation drives you wild, but little by little, you get to unwrap the life that is Jesse's past and present. I love how he changes Maura for the better, teaches her to loosen up a little bit and enjoy life for what it is, instead of making everyone else happy. The entire story is written with zingy dialogue, lighthearted and witty narrative, and characters that you can't help but fall in love with. Jesse and Maura are a little outside the box, but I think many people can relate to them and their situations on many occasions. Ms. Fox writes a great story with sizzling tension. I couldn't keep my eyes away from the pages. One of my favorite stories by this author by far! The setting, the plot, the characters, they all stole my heart. The one downside is that in a few places the story seemed to lag, th[...]

The Haunting of a Duke by Chastity Bowlin


The Haunting of a Duke by Chastity BowlinPublisher: Wild Rose PressGenre: Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery Length: Full Length (292 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 3.5 StarsReviewed by FernFacing danger from both sides of the grave, will two souls merge to find a love that conquers all? Communing with spirits has been both gift and curse to Emme Walters. Now it's made her a killer's target. Emme knows why the Dowager Duchess of Briarleigh invited her to a house party—to investigate whether the duke, Rhys Brammel, murdered his wife years ago. But Emme never imagined she would fall in love with the brooding duke. Branded by society as a possible killer, Rhys is suspicious of Emme and her alleged "gift." Then a late night encounter creates awareness of her other, more attractive, aspects. When Emme's life is threatened, Rhys becomes her protector. Emme and Rhys find passion and peril as they join forces to solve the mysteries at Briarleigh. She made him believe in spirits, but can she make him believe in love? Emme Walters is attempting to return to her bedchamber after awakening from another strange bout of sleepwalking. Lord Rhys Brammel follows her to try and understand what underhanded task she must be about at such a late hour. When she’s at risk of being exposed – and her reputation ruined – his natural, gentlemanly instincts urge him to protect her, and they both escape undiscovered. Both Rhys and Emme are enjoying a weekend party held by Rhys’ family, though each are reluctant in their own ways for their own reasons. Rhys in particular finds Emme’s motives for being present particularly suspect, but that distrust only fuels his curiosity and interest in the lovely young lady. This is a wonderful historical novel, full of secrets, mysteries and paranormal abilities. I sympathized with both Rhys and Emme, caught up in strictures and rules not of their own making, and each in their own way trying their best to balance their honor, duty and their own desires. While this could have been yet another historical romance the author adds far more depth both to the plot and characters. There are spirits who communicate with Emme, regrets of actions long past and all sorts of intrigue that make this a vivid, wonderful story to read. There is plenty of conflict and tension in the forms of both Rhys’ and Emme’s scheming family, as well as both Rhys and his best friend’s inherent distrust in Emme’s paranormal powers. Artfully crafted this book will satisfy a wide range of readers, from those who love historical, to medium or even straight mystery readers. There is also plenty of sexual chemistry and spice to keep the romance readers turning the pages to discover what happens next. I greatly enjoyed this novel and found the author’s style, wit and tone of voice easily readable. Recommended. [...]

Heart Murmurs by Suleikha Snyder


Heart Murmurs by Suleikha SnyderPublisher: The Wild Rose PressGenre: Contemporary (Medical Romance)Length: Short Story (36 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by Fern Despite her best efforts to stay professional, distant, and unmoved, cardio-thoracic resident Anushka Gupta can't get brilliant—and gorgeous—neurologist Vince McHenry out of her head. So what if she presents all the symptoms of a woman in love, Anu is determined to fight off the disease. She’s not going to compromise her career for a fling with a professional playboy. Hospital heartthrob Vince has never met someone so untouchable or so prickly, and he’s immediately consumed by her case. He even has a course of treatment in mind: a night of passion. But when Anu's defensive push comes to Vince's passionate shove, he finds himself suddenly specializing in matters of the heart.Dr Vince McHenry might be a brilliant doctor and a medical researcher without compare – but he is also an insufferably arrogant jerk. Anushka Gupta knew his every flaw, but she couldn’t help the fantasties of his smile and hands which haunted her daydreams. In a whirlwind romance, Anu isn’t certain whether to indulge in the insanity surrounding her and Vince, or run away and hold onto her independence. This is short story is a modern medical romance. I found both Vince and Anu to be instantly likeable characters, neither of them being overly clichéd, and well rounded considering the brevity of the story. The setting is certainly in the present day (no wistful sighs or waiting for the doctor to take the lead here) and with just enough spice to bring a blush to your face and check no one else is reading over your shoulder. Anu is a strong woman who knows what she wants but isn’t domineering to achieve it, and Vince is equal parts arrogant jerk and fallible human. Ms. Snyder is to be commended on a really well written story with memorable characters, sizzling sex scenes and a healthy dose equally made up of reality and fantasy. Highly enjoyable! [...]

A Deadly Love by Jannine Gallant


A Deadly Love by Jannine GallantPublisher: Wild Rose Press IncGenre: Contemporary, Suspense/MysteryLength: Full Length (302 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by FernIn the heart of the redwoods, a madman waits... Recovering from a broken engagement and determined to start over, Brooke Wakefield flees to her grandmother's home deep in the redwood forest. Discovering her teenage crush lives next door is a less than auspicious beginning. The last thing she needs is another man to break her heart, but every time Dillon glances her way, her heat level soars. Dillon Tremayne isn't looking for a relationship. With a young son, an eccentric grandfather, and a logging company running him ragged, he can't afford any romantic entanglements. But Brooke's humor and strength are hard to resist. When a woman from his past is brutally murdered and another disappears, Dillon is heartsick—and terrified the killer will target Brooke next. Can Brooke and Dillon find love in the heart of the forest? Or will a madman's twisted dream destroy their chance at happiness?Startled by a ghost-like woman in a long white nightgown running onto the road in front of her car, Brooke Wakefield crashes her car. Dillon Tremayne finds her semi-conscious and bloodied, her car a mangled wreck. A killer is holding women hostage, torturing them with a hunt-and-chase type game that fulfills the sickness within him. When Brooke captures his attention what started out as a chance to help her Grandmother out and get herself back together in the sleepy little town turns into a twisted game from her darkest nightmare. An old-school style psychological thriller, this small-town book is full of interesting, well-written characters. The author has done an excellent job setting up the atmoshphere of an isolated, fog-filled, woodsy little town, the perfect setting for a crazed stalker/killer. But it’s the characters that really shine through. Full of quirks and life, I found myself second guessing everyone trying to work out the mystery and stay one step ahead of the killer. I’m pleased to say I only had mingled success, with quite a few interesting twists. Not to be read on a cold, stormy night, this was scary enough to have me double checking the doors, but not gory enough to be horrible or over the top, it has a good balance. Dillon and Brooke certainly have chemistry, each is recovering from their own problems – Dillon from the tragic death of his late wife, Brooke from a broken engagement. The romantic pace between them is a realistic, gradual progression and the culmination of their desires is tastefully written. An excellent find, I really enjoyed this book and would happily read more from this author. [...]

The Art of Falling in Love by J.D.Thompson


The Art of Falling in Love by J.D.ThompsonPublisher: Mundania PressGenre: Paranormal, ContemporaryLength: Short Story (82 pages)Heat Level: sweetRating: 3.5 starsReviewed by Fennel Julia Ramsey, an art restoration technician with Art Revived, has a weakness for coffee, beautiful art, and widowed Darius Holcombe. Her attraction doesn't seem to be returned, however, and she self-consciously chalks it up to her plus-sized frame. Darius Holcombe is finally starting to think about another woman for the first time since his wife passed away. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite know what to do about it. Julia Ramsey is smart, gorgeous, and way out of his league. A relationship seems hopeless until Julia meets Imogene and Herbert who offer sage advice and a little push in Darius' direction. The trouble is they're figures in an 18th century painting she's restoring--a painting with a haunted past. The Art of Falling in Love is a delightfully light-hearted paranormal romance. It is short and sweet and at times unrealistic, but then of course it is a paranormal. J. D. Thompson’s writing is ‘bouncy’ for want of a better word. Julia Ramsey, the author’s heroine is a down-to-earth kind of girl, easy to get along with and compassionate for friends who’ve suffered tragedy. Darius Holcombe, a work colleague, fits that bill, but beyond the general office acknowledgements neither have spent much time in each others’ company. Not, that is, until their boss pairs them up to work together on the restoration of a painting he recently bought. Ms. Thompson easily takes her readers into the minds of her characters and when ‘things’ begin to happen that cannot be rationally explained it didn’t take long for this reader to share the emotions of the author’s heroine, Julia. If I had a nit with this story, it was the way Darius took off from work for hours on end without explanation. But that is a very small nit, when otherwise all the other characters played their parts so well and moved the story forward. The author’s writing style is vivid and each scene, for me was easy to ‘see’. If you enjoy light paranormal romance with an unusual if not unexpected twist, then this is a book to consider. If you are looking for a short and light-hearted romance you can read in one sitting, then The Art of Falling in Love should fit the bill.[...]

Bella’s Impossible Boss by Michelle Douglas


Bella’s Impossible Boss by Michelle DouglasPublisher: Harlequin Enterprises LimitedGenre: Contemporary, HolidayLength: Full Length (192 pgs)Heat Level: SensualRating: 3.5 starsReviewed by Iris From the wrong side of the tracks, Dominic Wright is fiercely proud of his successful career—and his latest project is his gateway to the big time! The downside? Dominic is expected to babysit the boss's spoiled daughter. Bella Maldini knows hotshot Dominic by reputation, and where women are concerned it's a bad one! Still, if Bella wants this project to succeed she must work closely with Dominic. If only he weren't so impossible—cynical, complicated, controlled—and, worst of all, sexier than any man she's ever met!Even if I had not read the front of the book, I would have known this was a Harlequin Romance. It had a solid plot and characters and a standard crisis. In this case, our characters are Bella and Dominic. Bella, presents as the “flighty” daughter of the business owner. She is out to please her dad and prove once and for all that she is worthy of his love and a place in his company. Dominic is the young executive. He is hard working, and making a positive impression on his boss, Bella’s dad. Because he is a trusted employee, and gets results, he is entrusted with the project on which Dad places Bella. Because Dominic is determined “not to become his father”, he is very firm with Bella and refuses to see her creative side as an asset to the project.As with all good Harlequins, they are thrown together. In this case, the company only has one apartment available to house the both of them during the project. This means they need to learn to work together. Oh, yes - there is also the addition of a cat. They become accustomed to living and working together, each finding some good in each other until the crisis occurs, and changes the nature of the business and the working relationship. As the crisis resolves, a new relationship occurs and we find the characters working towards the happily ever after. Even though the story is basically laid out above, the beauty is in the details. For those of us with wanderlust, the story is set in Australia. But even with that, the story did not seem foreign. The aforementioned cat adds an interesting twist. Bella and Dominic aren’t all that they seem. Speaking of Bella and Dominic. . . Bella, although she is constantly trying to get her father to approve of her, is an intelligent young woman. She knows what she wants to do, even though it isn’t necessarily something of which she feels Dad will approve. Dominic, on the other hand, is fairer than he first appears. He never becomes the wishy-washy hero that has fallen in love, but again, does not remain the tough-as-nails boss who never shows his feelings until the very end. In that respect, he seems more real to this reader. There is also a fair amount of humor added throughout. It added humanity to the characters and allows the reader to continue on!In all, this story was exactly as promised – an enjoyable read. No twists and turns, but enough individuality in the characters to make the reading worthwhile. [...]

Searching for Love by Sheryl McGinnis



Searching for Love by Sheryl McGinnis
Publisher: Topaz Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (43 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

After a few months of dating, Tiffany Smith accepts Cale Kelly’s hasty marriage proposal. There was no doubt he loved her; the engagement ring was terribly expensive. Then, one day, the real Cale Kelly emerges. Cale is addicted to women, and this realization shatters Tiffany’s heart.

In search of solitude, Tiffany flees to Down East Maine. A fit of anger causes her to throw the expensive ring into the ocean. Afterwards, Tiffany realizes she’s done the unthinkable, and now, she desperately searches the water’s edge for the ring.

Keith Palmer is walking along the beach with his metal detector. Perhaps, he’ll help her recover the coveted ring. Pushing all hurt aside, Tiffany finds an instant attraction to the 6’1 beachcomber. Right now, Keith is the breath of fresh air Tiffany needs. Maybe she’s found something more priceless than a ring. Can one week of bliss equal a lifetime of happiness?

Tiffany had her heart broken by her cheating ex-fiance, Cale Kelly and is mulling over her shattered life on the edge of the beach in Maine. She bumps into Keith Palmer, literally, while he’s looking for buried treasure with a metal detector. They walk along the beach together and slowly get to know each other, sharing their hopes and dreams.

This is a sweet, lovely story about leaning to trust and open yourself up again after the deepest kinds of betrayal. Heartwarming and hopeful, it’s a glorious tale of an instant beach romance between two people made for each other. Sweet enough to cover a broad range of ages and tastes this is the kind of short story women can share with every generation – older and younger - without worry. As a short story it’s also a quick enough read to read through over a pleasant afternoon. I really enjoyed this lovely story and would happily read more by this author.



The Chocolatier and the Maitre Patissier by Sheryl McGinnis



The Chocolatier and the Maitre Patissier by Sheryl McGinnis
Publisher: Topaz Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (37 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Angelique attends Escoffier L’ecole Patisserie in Paris, where she studies to become a master pastry chef. On the wings of the Fates, Philippe, a master chocolatier, enters her life. In four romantic days, the couple develops an indestructible bond. Unfortunately, Angelique has finished her studies in Paris. Her very own pastry shop awaits in New Orleans. Worlds apart, the couple bid adieu and go their separate ways. Can Angelique find amour in the arms of another?

Angelique Beaumont is a student pastry chef in Paris. Sad that she’ll be returning to New Orleans soon, she decides to enjoy herself and stops off at her favorite Patisserie. There, she meets a handsome waiter named Phillipe and the attraction is instant and very mutual. Overcome by each other, they indulge in a week long affair and fall madly in love. Reality hits them, however, as Phillipe needs to return to Switzerland and Angelique New Orleans. Upset, but both determined to continue their dreams, they go their separate ways.

While the connection between Angelique and Phillipe is strong and passionate, this short story is slightly different from many others in that our hero and heroine spend the middle section of the tale apart. Angelique needs to live her own life and come to her own conclusions about what she wants and who she needs as part of her life. A sweet story, but still infused with the l’amour of Paris and delicious delicacies of both a master chocolatier and pasissier, this is a fun and tempting read.

Despite the break between our protagonists I enjoyed the differences in this story from so many others. I felt it let us understand Angliquie’s position far better than had she not struck out for herself. The warmth and chemistry between her and Phillipe is undeniable and with all the luscious foods described it made a mouth-watering read. Recommended.


Flying Home by T. R. McClure


Flying Home by T. R. McClurePublisher: The Wild Rose PressGenre: Contemporary, Inspirational Length: Full Length (192 pgs)Heat Level: sweetRating: 4 starsReviewed by Daffodil The last thing Colleen McLachlan is thinking about while flying over central California in her perky red and yellow Tri-Pacer is a man. After twenty-five years in the US Air Force, she’s ready for freedom and looking for a place to call home. When she’s forced to land in the middle of Matthew Berk’s almond grove, she discovers a home, a family, and a man! Matt is perfectly happy taking care of the family business and teaching part-time at the local college. When Colleen literally knocks him off his feet, he quickly realizes there’s more to life than work. Only problem is…there’s a bit of an age difference. Falling in love with Matt Berk goes against everything she stands for. Can she convince Matt she’s wrong for him or will he change her mind? The older woman meets handsome younger man. Honestly I enjoyed this novel. I like how the author played on something most women have had an issue with - dating younger men, especially women who don’t even like telling their age for fear of being called “old.” Colleen is so strong and so independent that it’s no wonder she would still be single.  I bet she's intimidated more than one man!  Add in the fact that she’s a highly ranked ex-military and you understand the issue. But Colleen didn’t count on meeting Matt, who will make her rethink everything she thought she knew. Plus Matt is hot! Even this story couldn’t hide the handsome book nerd who makes Colleen’s pulse race. Throw in some funny family members from both Colleen and Matt’s family and you’ve got a great read. This story is the epitome of sweet. It’s even sweet enough to allow an older teenager to read. And it’s brutally honest. Most people don’t tell you when you get married that you should like your in-laws and this story covers that as well as what to do with those pre-marital woes and jitters. [...]

The Viking’s Witch by Kelli A. Wilkins


The Viking’s Witch by Kelli A. WilkinsPublisher: Medallion PressGenre: Historical, ParanormalLength: Full Length (273 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by Poinsettia Scotland, 803 A.D. About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her. But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions? After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village? Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other . . . before time is up. Can Odaria really trust a Viking? Odaria has never been able to trust a single soul on her small isle. Though she lives as an outcast, her life is relatively peaceful until the village leader, Brennan decides the village needs to be “cleansed” of Odaria’s witchcraft by burning her alive. When Odaria calls down a curse on the village, she didn’t expect a band of Norsemen to come charging out of the shadows, but will the brutal raiders be her savior or her downfall? Odaria is a very brave and strong woman. She has lived her entire life on the isle where she was. Since her mother’s death, she has been alone in the world, with the other villagers only coming to her in secret when they need her magic to help them. With the way Odaria is treated by the others, I couldn’t believe she had never attempted to leave the isle. However, Odaria is far too stubborn to admit defeat, even when it becomes clear she’s in grave danger. When Rothgar enters Odaria’s life, she feels an immediate connection to him. The attraction is mutual, and it isn’t long before the sparks start to fly. However, Odaria and Rothgar are both very strong willed, and are constantly bickering and butting heads. Despite their intense fights, Odaria and Rothgar also share some moments where they both open up about some very personal and private details of their lives. Their vulnerability is quite touching. Ms. Wilkins also did an excellent job of building the sexual tension between Odaria and Rothgar. Though they were certainly attracted to each other physically from the moment they met, they weren’t able to act on it right away. I found the interruptions to their romantic interludes very amusing at times. Consequently, Odaria and Rothgar were able to form a strong emotional attachment. When Odaria and Rothgar were finally able to act on their feelings for each other, the timing felt perfect. I do have to say that the conflict between Odaria and Rothgar at the climax of the book didn’t feel entirely genuine. I can’t say much without spoiling the plot. However, I will say that Odaria is led to believe something terrible about Rothgar. I find it very hard to believe that Odaria would lose faith in Rothgar so quickly after they had shared some very intense, personal, and private moments. Still, Ms. Wilkins did a great job of depicting the brutali[...]

Just A Cowboy and His Baby by Carolyn Brown


Just A Cowboy and His Baby by Carolyn Brown Publisher: SourcebooksGenre: Contemporary, HolidayLength: Full Length (324 pgs)Heat Level: SpicyRating: 4 starsReviewed by NymphaeaShe's Got Her Eyes on the Prize... Gemma O'Donnell wasn't the first woman to win the ProRodeo buckle for bronc riding, but she was darn well going to be the second. What she didn't count on was her main competition sweeping her off her feet. He'll Do Whatever It Takes To Win... Trace Coleman isn't really after a title—he needs the cash prize to buy his dream ranch. But one sexy, determined cowgirl keeps getting in his way. In his effort to take her out of the running, he risks losing both the title—and his heart. They're Both in For a Little Surprise... Everybody's world is turned upside down when a pint-sized bundle of joy gets dropped right into Trace's lap...and suddenly all the stakes are higher. Anything you can do, I can do better... or at least when it comes to bronc riding. I know when I read a book by Carolyn Brown, I'm in for a treat. The writing flows and the words leap from the pages. I'm immersed in the world of the characters and tend to finish the book in one sitting. The same was the case for Just a Cowboy and His Baby. I devoured this book in what seemed like no time at all and thought about the characters after I put the book down. Here's my quandary. I liked this book. I did. But for me there were aspects that tripped me up. I love animals and I tend to talk to all four of mine. When Trace talked to his dog like it was a person, I got him. Totally. But there were moments when he went on a long time. Was this bad? Not really, but it stuck with me and temporarily ripped me out of the story. Another thing was Gemma. She talked to herself a lot, too. Seeing as how I tend to talk myself through things, I could relate to her. What I had a hard time with was her overwhelming determination to be the best. Be the best, by all means, but she went overboard. Everything had to be her way and she had to win. I like strong women, but there's strong, then there's so strong I wanted her to break a bit. Still, this book has lots of good points. The writing is solid and the storyline is fantastic. I felt the connection between Gemma and Trace and rooted for them to have their HEA. The scenes in the arena are vivid. I've never been to a bronc riding show, but I feel like I have. If you want a book that's the right mix of sugar, spice and broncs, then this might be the book for you! [...]

November Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes



The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical - Victorian Age
Length: Full Length (371 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia


His Family or His Heart — One of Them Will Be Betrayed...

Ian MacGregor is wooing a woman who's wrong for him in every way. As the new Earl of Balfour, though, he must marry an English heiress to repair the family fortunes.

But in his intended's penniless chaperone, Augusta, Ian is finding everything he's ever wanted in a wife.


The Love Gypsy by Mariah Lynne


The Love Gypsy by Mariah LynnePublisher: The Wild Rose Press IncGenre: Contemporary, Historical, Sci-Fi/FantasyLength: Short Story (73 pgs)Heat Level: SensualRating: 3.5 starsReviewed by FernFlorida homicide detective Brianna Breeze can't seem to catch a man unless she handcuffs him. So her best friend decides to take matters into her own hands and tricks Brianna into seeing the Love Gypsy, a time traveler's friend noted for her extraordinary matchmaking skills.When a tall, muscular man wearing jeans, a black leather jacket, and slicked-back 50s hair bursts in on her first visit, Brianna is bewitched. Despite the gypsy's warning not to get involved with him, Brianna can't get him out of her mind—even though she, more than anyone, knows the pitfalls of romancing a stranger. A present-day murder, a mysterious vintage car registered in the distant past, and a smoking gun complicate the puzzle. Brianna doesn't know if her lover from the past is a murderer or a savior, but she's willing to risk time travel to find out. Brianna Breeze lets her best friend Tessa Stone talk her into spending a day off together cruising the mall. What Bree didn’t know was that Tessa is determined to get her to see the Love Gypsy. While she's consulting – albeit somewhat reluctantly – with the Love Gypsy, Dom crashes onto the scene (almost literally) and completely takes Bree by surprise. Their attraction is instant, but as open and fun-loving as Dom is, he’s surrounded by mystery, a combination that Bree, as a police officer, finds irresistible. Despite the Gypsy cautioning her to try other men on her list, Bree follows her gut instinct and spends more and more time with Dom. More than a little over the top this book is happy and fun. Not taking itself seriously much of the time I found the tone campy and lighthearted. I laughed out loud quite a bit at the antics of Bree, Tessa and Dom. The pace of the book is quick, with a glowing, feel-good warmth that leaves you with a smile on your face. While the mystery isn’t particularly complex, the plot is quite satisfying and the general tone of the whole story is really fun. At times I felt like the characters were a little rushed – the author sets a fast-moving pace with secondary characters coming in frequently and small plot hooks dropped consistently throughout the story. But overall this is a splendid, delightful romance that hits many of the good spots. It’s the perfect book to curl up with over a weekend or one night in front of a warm fire with a sparkling glass of wine. [...]

White Trash Beautiful by Nichole Severn


White Trash Beautiful by Nichole SevernPublisher: Evernight PublishingGenre: Contemporary, Suspense/MysteryLength: Short Story (85 pages) Heat Level: SensualRating: 3.5 starsReviewed by OrchidTrey Aston is hiding from the mob. Desperate to save her life, she sells her body in order to make the monthly payments her father owes the mob, but when Trey discovers he hasn’t been making the payments, she’s forced to turn to the one man she hoped never to see again for help. Deputy Luke Johnson refuses to acknowledge his high school sweetheart is a prostitute and is determined to make Trey see it for herself. Until she starts treating him as a client. His ability to know right from wrong is challenged and he isn’t the only one who’s noticed. The force doesn’t have his back where Trey is concerned, leaving him to fight against them for a criminal. The Camino Family is out to make her pay, but what really has Trey on edge is the fact she has fallen for the deputy who wants her behind bars. Trey returns to Parkvista, not to take up her relationship with the man who loves her but to sell her body for profit. Luke is confused. The woman he loved would never have become a whore, but then that woman would not have left town immediately after he proposed. With reasons linked to her drunken father and his debts, Trey tries hard to prevent Luke finding out why she lives as she does. As a police officer, he can't protect her completely. Whenever he can he gives her food and once he even takes her to the home they shared and allows her to use the shower. Trey keeps her address in the bowels of a junk yard secret from the man she loves. Ashamed of the profession she has taken up, but seeing no other way of surviving, she knows her time with Luke must remain in the past, but it's so hard when she sees him almost daily. Despite the obvious love between the main characters, I found the book confusing and a little disjointed. I realize the author did not wish to reveal everything at the beginning, but I fear she hid the reasons behind Trey's actions too well for me to grasp the full impact of the story. From the middle onwards the path became smoother and I understood why the unexplained actions happened at the beginning of the book. My comments are no reflection on the subject of the story, I thought this a quite novel way of approaching a romance. The attraction between the two was intense, despite the fact this is only a sensual level romance, the author brought the tension into the story well. If the book had as much smoothness and depth at the beginning as it did at the end, it would be an excellent read. [...]