Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Passion to Pursue by Kelsey Browning

Title: A Passion to Pursue
Author: Kelsey Browning
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Prophesy of Love #2
Main Characters: Greer and Alex
Release Date: March 2016
Publisher: Kicksass Creations
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
What if a pair of cowboy boots could foretell true love?

For years, Texas girl Greer Maddox waited to inherit her legacy as the next prophecy bootmaker. But that day never came. Now, instead of living out her rightful destiny, she's lost, restlessly jumping from one art project to the next.

Until the day leather tooler Alejandro Villanueva strolls into town looking like ten kinds of sexy trouble.

After surviving his dark and dangerous past, all Alex wants is a quiet future. Alone, where his former life and mistakes can't hurt anyone else. Even casually screwing around with a girl next door like Greer--whose dulce de leche voice and curvy body make him sweat--is a bad idea. But when she gets involved in his attempts to win the Prophecy Boot Company's tooling contract, waving adios is the last thing on his mind.

Their attraction flares hot and undeniable. He wants her, and even knowing he shouldn't have her can't stop him from indulging in the temptation she offers. But when his past comes calling, he is forced to choose between hiding from his sins, or saving the woman he loves.

Warning: The Prophecy of Love series features sizzling sex, hot Texas heroes, hard-headed heroines, and custom cowboy boots.

My Review:
I'll be honest, I adored the first book in this series and that's always worrisome because that can set expectations for the second too high. But I loved this one almost as much. 

This book is about Greer. Her family legacy is the Prophesy Boot Company and she was devastated when she didn't turn out to be the next boot maker. Since then, she's been floundering trying to find her place in the art world. She's artistic, but none of the mediums she tries ever seem to truly fit. She can't find her passion. 

Alex is in Prophesy, Tx trying to get the job as Prophesy's new leather tooler. He's incredibly skilled and desperately wants this job, but he needs to secure it and get back to Montana before anyone realizes he's in Texas...a place he should never revisit. He can do his leather work long-distance. But that isn't what Greer and Delaney (the boot-maker) have in mind. 

The chemistry between Greer and Alex is immediate, but he knows that he should have nothing to do with her. His past is a serious issue that he's embarrassed about and he works to try desperately to hide it. And can I just say I adore his tattoos? Alex works to hide them, but they cover half his body, so that's not the easiest thing in the world to do. And Greer is obsessed with them...and his piercing. I totally agreed with her. They were incredibly hot and hearing the story of who gave them to him and his whole history with tattooing...it was bittersweet, but it didn't take any of the innate sexiness away from them. 

Like with the first book, this one was a great journey into the boot-making world. I've dabbled a bit into leather carving and imagining Alex's gorgeous creations were some of my favorite parts of this story. And my town has an art coop so I loved what Greer is creating too. And then there was the side story happening with Alex's little brother. I loved getting to see the different aspects of that story unfold. It truly was a perfect ending for the story line happening there. 

I love the idea behind the series...the Prophesy boots. And I loved that Greer got her pair in this book. The whole gambling theme especially with where she is at in her life was incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.





About the Author

Kelsey Browning writes sexy contemporary romances that readers describe as funny, sassy, and full of sizzling chemistry. She also co-authors humorous Southern women’s fiction with a sprinkling of mysteryOriginally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she makes her home in Athens, Georgia, with her tech-savvy husband, her smart-talking son, a rescue dog from Qatar, and her (fingers crossed) future therapy pup.




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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Darkness by Karen Robards


Title: Darkness
Author: Karen Robards
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Gina and Cal
Release Date: March 2016
Publisher: Gallery Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
New York Times bestselling author Karen Robards continues her penchant for “fantastic storytelling” (RT Book Reviews) with this next heart-pumping romantic suspense novel, the tale of a brilliant ornithologist trapped on the remote Attu Island in Alaska, fighting for her life—and that of a handsome stranger—before they’re swallowed up in darkness forever.

BOOM. That’s the sound that changes everything for Dr. Gina Sullivan, a renowned ornithologist on a group research grant trip on the remote island of Attu, Alaska. When an everyday outing turns sinister at the onset of one of Attu’s infamous storms, Gina expects thunder and lightning—but what she doesn’t see coming is the small jet plane that drops out of the sky and into the water mere feet from her boat. Even more unprecedented: there’s a sole survivor from the crash, and he needs Gina’s help. But it turns out that rescuing the stranger and getting them both out of the oncoming storm is just the beginning. Because the more Gina learns about James “Cal” Callahan, he of brooding eyes and muscled frame, the more she fears—for herself, and for him.



Cal has made a career of trading on government secrets and emerging unscathed—until a routine pickup goes horribly wrong and lands him in ice-cold water. Literally. He knows the plane crash was no accident and that there could very well be an enemy force currently combing the Alaskan island ensuring there were no survivors. Now if only the arrestingly beautiful bird-watcher with the clear-blue gaze would stop watching him, well, like a hawk. Cal convinces Gina to return to base camp and help him covertly get off the island. But when Gina makes it safely back to camp and finds her entire team murdered, all bets are off, and as darkness envelops the island, she must decide: trust a man she barely knows, or go it alone and risk running straight into the arms of a killer?

My Review:
Wow, this book was so unexpected. I loved absolutely every suspense-filled minute of reading it. 

Gina studies birds. She's in the very remote islands of Attu, Alaska doing just that when a plane crashes right in front of her. The irony of the moment is that Gina is finally reclaiming her life after a plane crash ruined it five years before. In fact, plane crashes are definitely the theme of this story. 

See the book starts the year before when a commercial flight mysteriously crashes after taking off from Denver. No one knows how/why that happened, but there's a computer hacker out there wanted by the US and Russian government who claims to know the reason. That's what Cal was doing on the plane that crashed in Attu...escorting the hacker back to the States.

This is a story that's filled with twists and turns and so much action and adventure that my heart rate increased a few times. Nothing is as it seems and it made for a fabulous read. Gina is NOT an adventurer, but she knows how to survive in extreme circumstances. I love how she saves Cal over and over again, even when she's terrified of him. There is no trust between them, but they develop a bond that's incredible through this trial to survive that they go through. 

In the book it's November in northern Alaska...it is not a mild climate and Cal's plane crashes into the sea. From that moment on (well, actually before that for Cal), it's a struggle to survive. A battle of will vs. land and man at incredible odds. I loved getting to read the story and see exactly how Cal and Gina survive. The book was really amazingly good. I loved reading it, and definitely recommend it to ANYone who enjoys a good romantic suspense story. This one will keep you at the edge of your seat the entire time you read it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The Bad Boy's Gift by Sara Daniel

Title: The Bad Boy's Gift
Author: Sara Daniel
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #1
Main Characters: Zane and Julianne
Release Date: March 2016
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
His gift is the only thing left from the love they shared…and she plans to sell it.

Former bad boy, now famous artist, Zane DeMonde laughs off an engraved invitation to return to Regret Hollow, the same town that booted him out fifteen years ago. When he discovers the woman who once broke his heart is putting his professional reputation at risk by selling his old paintings, he’s no longer laughing. He’ll do anything to stop her, even return to town … even put his heart in jeopardy again.

High school art teacher Julianne Truman's last chance to save her beloved art department from budget cuts is to sell the old artwork Zane gifted her. Her heart breaks to remove the final traces of him from her life, but she needs to finally move on from the love she never got over.

Julianne’s life belongs to her students, and Zane’s only goal is to protect his art. But the moment they wrap their arms around each other, their old attraction flares to life hot enough to incinerate them and their best intentions.
 

My Review:
This story is a novella and as such, things happen in it very quickly...which works to a certain extent because the characters already have a rich, complex history. This is a second chance at love story. Zane and Julianne were high school sweethearts completely committed to one another, but they each had other passions. He had his art and she had her family. Those two things were incompatible for that moment in their lives at the end of high school and it caused them to separate. 

But now it's 13 years later, and Zane is a famous artist while Julianne is an art teacher trying to fund a way to keep her job. Julianne is selling off Zane's drawings he gave her during that time. For her, it's the only way to save her job as the art teacher at the local high school, even though it's killing her to let them go. They mean so much to her, but it's time to let Zane go. For Zane, he doesn't want anyone to see that hidden passionate side of him that belonged to only her. Those pieces were deeply personal. They belong to her and no one else. So he comes home for the first time since he left to stop the auction. 

I wish that Zane's time home before the auction could have been just a bit longer. I understand this is a novella with limited time for word count, but there were moments when everything simply happened too fast. This was a story that I loved overall, but those little niggling moments of 'whoa, she just did a 180 there in a single paragraph' happened a couple of times and dropped my rating from a 5 star to a 4 star. I totally believed that these two have never fallen out of love, so I could handle fast, but this was a supersonic romance for me.

But even with that being said, I adored the story and the romance and the chemistry that still sizzles between the two. I loved the art theme of the story. There were also glimpses of a couple of other characters coming in the series that I'm definitely excited about...like Julianne's twin brother. This is setting up to be a good series and I'm excited to see where the author goes with the bad boys in this small town. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.





His gift is the only thing left from the love they shared…and she plans to sell it.
Out March 29th – The Bad Boy’s Gift (The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #1) by Sara Daniel
Author: Sara Daniel
Series: The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Blurb: Former bad boy, now famous artist, Zane DeMonde laughs off an engraved invitation to return to Regret Hollow, the same town that booted him out fifteen years ago. When he discovers the woman who once broke his heart is putting his professional reputation at risk by selling his old paintings, he’s no longer laughing. He’ll do anything to stop her, even return to town … even put his heart in jeopardy again.
High school art teacher Julianne Truman's last chance to save her beloved art department from budget cuts is to sell the old artwork Zane gifted her. Her heart breaks to remove the final traces of him from her life, but she needs to finally move on from the love she never got over.

Julianne’s life belongs to her students, and Zane’s only goal is to protect his art. But the moment they wrap their arms around each other, their old attraction flares to life hot enough to incinerate them and their best intentions.


About Sara Daniel:
Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to steamy and everything in between. She grew up in a small town and was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. She has no regrets about turning her back on her accounting degree to write romance, but she deeply regrets her inability to keep track of her car keys. 



Find out more about Sara: 
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
More from The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow:
The Bad Boy’s Guilt – Releasing April 12, 2016
Available for pre-order from:  
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks
The Bad Boy’s Guarantee – Releasing April 26, 2016
Available for pre-order from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks
The Bad Boy’s Goodness – Releasing May 10, 2016
Available for pre-order from:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks
For more information on The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow – visit Sara Daniel’s webpage.

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Excerpt:
                  “Do all those things I confided in you years ago mean nothing to you?”
“Family’s important,” she whispered. She hadn’t imagined he’d see her actions as a betrayal of trust.
“I remember exactly how important family is to you.” Sarcasm crept into his voice. “A hell of a lot more important than me, definitely more important than this.” He hooked his arm around her shoulders and hauled her across the console, slamming his lips against hers.
Hard, angry demands from a man who no longer cared about pleasing her contrasted sharply with the memories of teenage sweetness and gentle tentativeness he’d once shown. He thrust his tongue between her lips, plundering her mouth. Instead of pushing him away and ordering him to stop, she leaned into him and tangled her tongue with his, meeting him stroke for stroke.
The hands gripping her shoulders relaxed, and the demanding thrusts of his tongue turned to languid strokes. She sifted her fingers through his soft black hair. Oh, how she’d missed being held in his arms, touching him, exploring him, and being one with him.
But they were hardly on their way to becoming one when he kissed her as a punishment.
She jerked away.
A car horn blared.
She straightened. Damn. She’d forgotten about Len, forgotten everything but Zane’s hands and mouth and sweet exploration.
Blinking out the windshield, she braced for the sight of Len laying on the horn of his pickup. Instead, he stood across the yard, wearing padded headphones and maneuvering a weed whip.
“If you’re looking for the honker, I believe you’re the culprit.” Zane nodded to her elbow resting on the steering wheel.
“Oh.” She yanked her arm back, settling into the passenger seat and pulling the seat belt strap. After three tries, she managed to lock the buckle into place. If Zane noticed her shaking hands, he didn’t mention it as he pulled away from the curb and left her house and his father behind.

If he’d kissed her to teach her a lesson, she’d learned one thing. She still wanted him, now more than ever.



Need You For Mine by Marina Adair

Title: Need You For Mine
Author: Marina Adair
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Heroes of St. Helena #3
Main Characters: Harper and Adam
Release Date: March 2016
Publisher: Montlake
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Every red-blooded male in St. Helena wants Harper Owens…as a friend. Despite her efforts at seduction, Harper seems to be destined to end up alone. The only guy with a knack for unleashing her inner vixen is firefighter and resident rule-breaker Adam Baudouin. Agreeing to a faux-mance could help him secure a promotion—and save her family’s lingerie shop, the Boulder Holder. But playing with fire has consequences. Especially when the flame comes courtesy of St. Helena’s own Five-Alarm Casanova…

None of Adam’s quick-and-easy hookups have prepared him for a connection this extraordinary. There’s more to the milk-and-cookies art teacher that he’d love to explore. But first he has to convince her to trust the town’s most notorious playboy. Even tougher—he’ll have to trust himself to be the real-life hero this warm and sexy woman deserves.


My Review:
Harper broke my heart because she is just such a nice girl...everyone thinks so, but that's also why she can't find a guy. They all see her as the nice girl. She's a kid's painting teacher, she has an eclectic style, and seriously is everyone's favorite friend. That is not sexy. But what is sexy is her grandmother's lingerie shop which is the impetus to every change for Harper in this book. 

Harper's parents weren't there for her, but her grandmother was. She owes her grandmother everything so when the biggest wholesaler is thinking about dropping her grandmother's shop, it's up to Harper to step up the sexy and make the store appealing. That means finding her own sexuality and Adam gets caught up in the whirlwind of that because he's the town's 'five-alarm Casanova.'

Adam is a fire-fighter. It's his life and he wants to move up within the chain of command, but every time he gets close to a promotion, he does something to screw it up. Hanging out with Harper as his girlfriend works for both of them. 


I also really loved how Adam has his realizations about just how appealing Harper is...it's a slow build that made it so believable for me. I really liked how their relationship developed. 

I enjoyed the book. Getting to "see" the visual aspects of Harper's artistic skills was fun, especially in the very girly lingerie store where she creates displays, but also in her body painting and photos shoots which turned out to be really sexy. But Adam is also awesome and the twists and turns with the new male's underwear line provided some other great visuals to the story. The author did a great job of creating the scenes where I could see them all clearly in my mind's eye. 

It was a fun book and was definitely entertaining to read for some light romance. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.