Guest Review: The Highlander’s Runaway Bride by Terri Brisbin

Posted February 9, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Highlander’s Runaway Bride by Terri BrisbinReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander's Runaway Bride by Terri Brisbin
Series: A Highland Feuding #2
Published by Harlequin Historical on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Historical, Medieval, Scottish
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Goodreads
four-stars

When Eva MacKay learns her father has bartered her off to a warrior from a neighboring clan, she has no choice but to run away, taking her dark secrets with her. Freedom is now within her grasp!

Dutiful highlander Rob Mackintosh tracks down his runaway bride, only to be stunned by the fireworks that erupt between them. For behind Eva's timid smile lies a headstrong beauty, and Rob knows, no matter what, this marriage is going to be full of surprises!

Eva fell in love and that love produced a child.  The day the baby is born, however, Eva’s father takes it from her and expects her to go on as if nothing has happened.  They had traveled far from their home to hid the pregnancy but the minute they get back to their clan Eva’s father announces that he’s marrying her off to someone.  Still sick with fever from the birth of her daughter, Eva takes off to find her little one.

Rob isn’t thrilled that his cousin has promised him in marriage but he loves his cousin and will do anything for him.  He heads to MacKay lands only to find out that his soon to be bride has runaway.  He heads off to find her but when he does she’s injured and still sick with fever.  He nurses her back to health and then marries her.

Eva knows that Rob is a nice guy but she longs for her child (which he still knows nothing about).   She’s dejected and withdrawn but Rob soon pulls her out of her depression and the pair soon find common ground in their marriage bed. When Rob finds out Eva’s secrets, however, it may be the end of the love that’s flourished between them.

Well, this was certainly not what I though was going to happen when I read the blurb to this book but I was pleasantly surprised with the story.  I liked Rob a lot, even though near the end he has his oh-my-god-you’re-a jerk moment.  He wasn’t thrilled about marrying Eva but was determined to make the most of it and actually found himself falling in love with her.  It was very sweet but also pretty heart-wrenching for him as he just couldn’t seem to make her happy.

Poor Eva.  My heart just broke for her because of all that had happened to her.  I hate that it did but I SO wish that she would have been forth-coming with Rob when they started getting closer.  I felt she should have known by then that he was a good guy and would understand but her father, the bastard, threatened to kill her daughter if she ever said a word.  Instead he found out another way and then twisted it all up in his head to be something it wasn’t.  Such a horrible start to the marriage but it all ended well in the end.

The book was a sad one that hurt my heart but was well done and definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reading Order:

Stolen by a Highlander
The Highlander’s Runaway Bride

four-stars

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Guest Review: Ironheart by Nico Rosso

Posted February 8, 2016 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ironheart by Nico RossoIronheart by Nico Rosso
Published by Macmillan on January 18th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Action & Adventure, Fantasy
Pages: 125
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four-stars

Love is a battlefield...
Superhero Vince “The Anvil” can take on knives, bullets, and bombs, but he’s not invincible. It was a hard hit when Kara, AKA “Snapdragon,” flew off after their explosive affair. And he’s especially vulnerable when she returns, looking for his help.
Kara is new to the superhero game, and villain TechHead is too much for her and her teammates to handle. He’s determined to use their combined power to fuel his ultimate weapon. Her only chance to take him on is with Vince’s brutal skill. But bringing Vince into the fight leaves her exposed to the white hot passion that had scared her away in the first place.
When TechHead captures Kara, Vince will stop at nothing to rescue her–even if it means sacrificing his heart.

Ironheart was previously released as part of the Holding Out for a Hero anthology.

Ironheart was my very first superhero romance, and I liked it!

Vince and Kara, otherwise known by their superhero names “The Anvil” and “Snapdragon”, had an intense but brief fling a while ago, but Kara broke it off abruptly. After that, Vince ends up dropping out of his superhero group and disappearing to live a normal life, though he mostly spends his time pining after Kara. When she shows up out of the blue at the same time as some thugs attacking him, Vince is suspicious, but still hot for her, naturally, so he gives her a chance. He and Kara seem to be reconciling, until Vince realizes Kara hasn’t been entirely truthful about her reason for finding him again. Can they put aside their issues to help stop a super villain?

This story is short, but it was so much fun! Rosso creates a mostly fleshed-out, albeit narrowly focused, superhero world. Vince and Kara’s powers are explained (as much as any superhero powers are ever “explained”), and they actually have character arcs. Vince has to accept what he really wants, which is to be a superhero, and to be with Kara. Kara needs to accept all the parts of herself and embrace who she really is in order to be the best superhero, and partner, she can be. They both change and find out more about themselves and the other person in the course of a story, which is not an easy feat in a shorter book.

Probably the neatest part is that Vince and Kara are both super–no one has to save anyone else, or at least it’s not the same person always doing the saving. And really, Kara’s powers are cooler and probably more powerful than Vince’s, but it’s a total non-issue for Vince. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously either. It isn’t mocking superheroes, but it also acknowledges that superheroes are kind of funny too, which I liked. And have you ever wondered what would happen if superheroes had sex? Well, this book provides one potential answer: shit falls down and/or lights on fire. I assume that means no sex in a bed for these two or the fire department would have to be involved! (And apparently Kara’s powers allow her to make a little internal birth control device, hands down my favorite contraceptive reference EVER in a romance.)

Because the book is short, it’s inevitable that some things would not be as well explained as I would have liked, like who/what exactly gave Snapdragon her powers, what was going on with The Anvil’s group (Omni Force), how exactly the superhero political/organizational structure works, etc. I could overlook a lot of those details though because they didn’t take away from the relationship storyline. I did roll my eyes a bit at how Vince seemed so broken up over losing Kara when they’d hardly been together long (weeks? maybe only days? I wasn’t clear). He still thinks of her every day months later and is tortured by her memory. Really? Seems kind of melodramatic, Anvil! I believe these two had an intense connection, but maybe they needed a little more time to explore it. I loved the two of them once they were back in contact–I just thought the back story was weak.

I know there are a few other superhero romances floating around (and I will most certainly be looking for them now), but not many. I am honestly puzzled why there aren’t more, given how popular superheroes are lately. I sure hope there will be a series coming from this world because it was a ton of fun, and I’d love to hear more about some of the side characters.

Grade: 4 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

four-stars

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Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 8, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #7
Published by Penguin on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Contemporary
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight Captive, the latest Killer Instincts novel is “off-the-charts-hot”* romantic suspense that takes readers into the heart of an enigmatic mercenary...

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.   When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.   Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child...

Ladies and gentlemen, we are finally getting Derek Pratt’s story. The silent, mysterious asshole dude is finally getting his story told and as soon as I could, I was all over this book because I’ve been waiting 6 books for it. There were times when I thought I didn’t want D’s story because he was such a dickhead asshole to everyone on the team.

He’s used to working alone and prefers it that way but man, my curiosity over him and his background grew and grew until I had ants in my pants and I couldn’t wait to start it. Now that I’m done with the book, I’m quite satisfied. It was everything that I wanted and expected from D’s book and even though Sofia got on my hot damn nerves in the beginning, I came around where her character was concerned.

So this book picks up after Midnight Captive and if you remember from the end of Midnight Captive, someone from the team was taken captive and the people that took this team member thought he was D so fast forward to now and it’s months later and we’re no closer to getting the team member back and one of the other teammates is barely holding it together because he blames himself but holy crap, that whole part of the story really broke my heart.

I won’t lie and say that this was the perfect read because it wasn’t. There were times in the beginning when I wanted to pull Sofia’s hair (because she’s pregnant, I didn’t want to smack her) because she got herself into unnecessary trouble. I get that she’s strong and independent but I can’t stand heroines who put themselves in danger and don’t listen to reason. It pisses me off but D gets them out of danger eventually so I came around but holy cow was I pissed at both Sofia and Liam. Both were emotionally driven in this one and I wanted to smack some sense into both of them in the beginning.

I really dug digging into D’s past and finding out what happened to make him the way that he is now. His character has always been tinged with a burning rage that at times was off putting for me but holy cow, I thought I was prepared for everything going into this read but I wasn’t. At all. I loved getting to know D, I loved understanding why he was the way that he was and I loved seeing the softer side that D didn’t understand himself with Sofia. I liked seeing him soften over the course of the book. We got different sides of D in this book and I liked it all.

Overall, this was a great addition to the series. I wasn’t prepared to like this book as much as I did but I’m glad that Kennedy surpassed my expectations. I will be sorely disappointed if Liam and Sully don’t end up together but I think Kennedy will give them the happy ending they both deserve and I’m looking forward to that. This was a good book so go and read it!

Reading Order:

Midnight Rescue
Midnight Alias
Midnight Games
Midnight Pursuits
Midnight Action
Midnight Captive
Midnight Revenge

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Sunday Spotlight: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 7, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a new feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release that we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. :)

Sunday Spotlight

In each and every single book that came before in this series, I wanted this book. D is one of those standout characters that is sexy enough and mysterious enough that you just want more. In every book, my curiosity grew bigger and bigger until I thought I’d burst. When the announcement came that D was finally getting his story, this was me…


gif credits

No joke.

I’ve been waiting for this silent asshole killer dude to get his story told. I have my assumptions on his background, his childhood but I’m still not prepared to read it. I can’t wait to power through though.

Midnight Revenge
Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts #7) by Elle Kennedy
Releases on February 2, 2016 by Signet

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight Captive, the latest Killer Instincts novel is “off-the-charts-hot”* romantic suspense that takes readers into the heart of an enigmatic mercenary…

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan’s black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.

When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.

Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he’s ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child…

So Sofia, the doctor lady is his heroine? Interesting. I’m mighty intrigued to see how they come together.

Excerpt

He paused in the doorway, his mocking gaze sweeping over her, and even while wearing that scornful expression, he was still the most attractive man she’d ever laid eyes on. His features looked like they’d been chiseled out of stone, and the dark scruff on his jaw was sexy as hell.

She didn’t understand him. Didn’t understand herself for being so attracted to him. Derek Pratt represented everything she hated in a man. He was aloof, dispassionate, insensitive at times. He wasn’t boyfriend material. Hell, he wasn’t even first-date material.

Her gaze slid up his corded throat to his mouth. That mouth had no right being so damn sensual. He hadn’t kissed her the night they’d had sex. If anything, he’d made an effort to not even look at her. Taking her from behind while he was fully clothed . . . it was as impersonal as it could get.

The father of my baby, ladies and gentleman. A man who can’t even look a woman in the eye when he fucks her.

Along with a deep burn of resentment, her heart also ached with regret. There had to be more to this man. Nobody could be this cold and indifferent. Her gut told her that something had made him this way, and if she just took the time to find out what it was, then she could . . . what? Fix him?

God. Yes. Maybe she did want to fix him. Because that was what she did—she fixed people, damn it. And it drove her crazy that she couldn’t seem to reach D, no matter how hard she tried. For years their paths had kept crossing, over and over again, yet she knew as much about him now as she had back then. Which was nothing. She knew nothing.

“Ash will drive you to the plane in ten minutes,” he told her, then paused, visibly uncomfortable. “Make sure you go to all your doctor’s appointments. Take care of yourself and the kid.”

When he started to turn away, she hurried toward him. “Derek. Wait.”

The wariness in his eyes barely took root before she was reaching up to cup his cheeks. He flinched the second she touched him. She ignored the response. She suspected he didn’t like to be touched, but she didn’t care. She swept her thumbs over the stubble on his jaw and locked her gaze with his.

“Be careful,” she said softly.

Then she stood on her tiptoes and pressed her mouth to his.

His lips didn’t move. Not at first. His discomfort showed in the stiffness of his body, and if she hadn’t clasped her hands around his neck, she knew he would have pulled away.

She brushed her lips over his, slowly, gently. When she tried to deepen the kiss, he stiffened again, just for a moment, before his mouth opened ever so slightly and his tongue touched hers. Her pulse exploded as anticipation surged through her blood, but one fleeting taste was all she got. The softest, sweetest brush of his tongue, and then he wrenched their mouths apart.

“Good-bye, Sofia,” he said gruffly.

She stared at the empty doorway after he’d left it, her heart beating fast. Why did he always leave her wanting more? She didn’t know him. She wasn’t sure she liked him. Yet she always wanted more. Another lay. Another kiss. Just . . . more.

Sofia stood frozen in place as she listened to the male voices wafting from the main room. D had said something to his men, and now they were engaged in muffled conversation. Then she heard footsteps. The front door shut. A moment later, the faint sound of a car engine, and then voices again. Liam and Ash, talking among themselves.

D had left.

Good-bye, Sofia.

Her insides twisted into a tight knot. His good-bye had sounded way too final. Like they were never going to see each other again.

See? That silent asshole killer dude in action, ladies and gentlemen. I just know his story is going to be great!

Killer Instincts Series


Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of February’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re excited for this year!

Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Website | Twitter | Facebook

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What Are You Reading? (272)

Posted February 5, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

WAYR-New

Holly: I read the entire Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh this week, including all the novellas. I’m still not reading new books, but I’m so happy I’m reading at all I’m not complaining.

Rowena: I was busy a lot this week with some volunteer stuff that I was doing for Brenna’s basketball team (of which I’m not doing next year, ugh) but I did manage to get some books read. I read Appealed by Emma Chase (SO GOOD), Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne (found a new great author to glom) and Unraveled by Jen Frederick (another great read in this series) so I’m one happy camper. Great reading week for me.

Now, I’m reading Unrequited by Jen Frederick. Finn’s book. I can’t wait to dig into this book because it’s Finn’s book. I want Finn’s story. I can’t wait to meet Winter. I’m so ready for more Woodlands goodness.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

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