Category: Reviews

Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted May 15, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Also in this series: Deadly Silence, Deadly Silence
Published by Forever
Publication Date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . . Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.
Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.
With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

Anya Best wants revenge on the serial killer that killed her sister and she will do anything to get it. When Heath Jones comes into her life, she doesn’t know if she should trust him. Whether or not she can, she knows that he’s the man that can help her. She feels ultimately responsible for her sister’s death since Anya is the one the Copper Killer really wanted. Loretta wouldn’t even have been involved in the case if it wasn’t for Anya.

Heath wants Anya as far away from the Copper Killer as possible. He lets her think that she’s being used as bait when, in fact, she’s not. Heath has never felt a primal attraction to anyone like he does to Anya and it brings out instincts him that he hasn’t felt since he was a helpless boy in the Boys home that he and his brothers grew up in.

In addition to the Copper Killer case, Heath and his brothers are on the run. Isobel Madison wants them back for her lab. Sheriff Cobb wants to kill them because they killed his brother in self-defense all those years ago. The last thing that Heath wants to do is bring Anya into the middle of everything. When you add in the Copper Killer, the group has quite a plate full.

Anya was borderline TSTL. She refused to go away to a safe house while the Copper Killer was at large. This killer has been contacting her for years. Years. Yet she thinks that she can outsmart him. It was laughable. Still, the romance between these two kept the book going strong. It was visceral and intense and I didn’t want it to end. I’m looking forward to Denver’s book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars

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Guest Review: Live Out Loud by Marie Meyer

Posted May 12, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Live Out Loud by Marie MeyerReviewer: Tracy
Live Out Loud by Marie Meyer
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: April 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

I thought I'd live in silence forever . . . and then I met him.

I'll never be able to hear, but music has always been a source of comfort for me. Rather than listen to the rhythm, I can actually feel the beat pulsing through me. It's pure bliss. So the moment I saw Thorin playing his guitar, I was mesmerized. I'd never seen anything more beautiful . . . or intimate. I couldn't tell where his body ended and the song began. He's everything I need in my life . . . I'm falling fast, hard, and deep.

I want him more than anything. But while I live in silence, Thor lives in secrets. He's holding something back-something that's keeping this intensity, this longing from being real. And the silence may be too loud to bear . . .

Harper King is deaf but that doesn’t stop her from enjoying music.  Her friend takes her out one night to see a band that she’s crushing on and Harper ends up connecting with the guitarist of the band, Thor.  Thor is enamored of Harper as she is with him.  They end up going out and despite the difficulties in communicating they manage just fine.

Harper is in school and doing her pharmacy clinical rotation at a children’s hospital and doing really well.  She lives with a friend and far away from her parents.  She loves her parents but they try to coddle her because of her deafness.  Despite their coddling, they never learned sign language which she hates.  She believes that if they loved her enough they would have made every effort to learn to communicate with her in her language.  When Thor states his desire to learn sign language, Harper is beyond thrilled.  She tells him that she’ll teach him ASL if he’ll teach her how to play the guitar.

Thor has had a hard life.  His father, who used to be a good dad became an abuser.  His favorite punching bag is Thor’s mother but Thor finally got his mother away from his dad.  He fears, however, that he’ll become just like his dad and this has kept him from any long-term relationships. Despite his fears he can’t seem to keep himself away from Harper.  He wants it all but his fears may tear them apart.

Live Out Loud was a sweet romance.  The relationship between Thor and Harper was so lovely and one that I really enjoyed reading.

Thor’s issues with his dad are many – completely justifiable.  He wants to take care of his mother and keep her far away from his father.  It’s obvious to the reader that Thor’s fear of becoming his father is ridiculous as he’s such a kind and generous person, but he has to get that through his head before he can completely commit to Harper.  I loved that he finally managed to realize the truth and got his HEA with Harper.

While I really liked this book I have to say that it did lag at times.  I understood Thor’s problem but I had a hard time with how he kept things from Harper.  It made the book a bit frustrating at times, I must say.  Overall, however, the book was really good and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet & Kristin Vayden

Posted May 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet & Kristin VaydenReviewer: Tracy
Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet, Kristin Vayden
Published by Blue Tulip Publishing
Publication Date: March 13th 2017
Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors), Contemporary Romance, Sports
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four-stars

Offsides by Elise Faber

Job title:
Executive Assistant for CEO of Prestige Media Group

Job description:
(1) Deal with a massive amount of emails.
(2) Schedule conference calls and meetings with top athletes and other hugely important people.
(3) Pick up dry cleaning and food, consult on tie selection, make dinner reservations, and book flights . . . basically act as a wife-on-steroids.
(4) THE IMPORTANT ONE: Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with Devon Scott—demanding boss, former NHL player, and all-around gorgeous specimen of the male persuasion.

Job performance:
Failing.
Absolutely failing at number four.

Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet

Life couldn’t be better for Charlie Woodruff.

After a year of holding out, she’s finally landed the job she’s always wanted in the city of her dreams. An apartment she can afford and new friends at work make the transition easy.
When she meets a gorgeous stranger who makes her laugh and steals her breath, it seems like the icing on the cake...

Until Charlie discovers he’s a client.

Hutch Barlow — newly drafted wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders — looks like an avenging angel, hangs on her every word, and is completely off-limits. The trouble is he also refuses to take “no” for an answer.

And if she’s being honest, Charlie doesn’t want him to.

But seeing him means she could lose everything — including her heart.

Off Limits by Kristin Vayden

Everything about Ava screams off limits.
To want her is to invite disaster.
To pursue her is to risk my job.
To kiss her might cost me my best friend.
But all those risks seem small in light of the first problem.
She hates me.

To her I’m a sell out, choosing to advance my career rather than protect my biggest client.
Her brother.
And my best friend.
She hasn’t spoken to me in over a year, but that ends now.
Because I’m done with holding back.
To hell with the consequences.
Wish me luck . . .

Offsides by Elise Faber

Devon is a retired hockey player and now the CEO of Prestige Media Group.  Becca is his temporary assistant while his regular assistant is on maternity leave.  Devon is hot for Becca but knows that he shouldn’t get involved with an employee – even a temporary one.  Becca has got it bad for Devon but as much as she wants him her life is too crazy to get involved with him.  Her mother needs medical care and Becca works two jobs to try and pay the medical bills.  She’s also got an angry ex that is messing with her and is more than dangerous to both Becca and Devon.

This was a sweet boss/employee story.  Devon doesn’t hold out for very long before he’s giving in to his desire for Becca but I loved the sexual tension between the two of them.  I liked a lot about this story – the dialogue, the story, the passion between Devon and Becca – it was just a good read.

Story rating: 4 out of 5

 

Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet

Charlie has finally started the job of her dreams.  She’s recently moved to San Francisco and is out running when she runs into a fellow runner.  They hit it off and she thinks that maybe this guy might be someone she can really like until she finds out his name, Hutch Barlow, and realizes who he is, new wide receiver for the Oakland Raider, and that he’s a client of her boss.  Prestige Media Group – her new employer – strictly forbids employees from dating clients.  Charlie tries to get Hutch to understand that she can’t see him but Hutch refuses to take no for an answer – showing up at her apartment with dinner and his irresistible charm. Charlie finds herself falling in love with Hutch but she knows that she can never be with him as she’s not willing to sacrifice the career she’s always wanted.

This was an adorable story.  I loved Hutch’s persistence with Charlie even knowing that she was off-limits to him.  He just liked her so much and was willing to give up a lot to be with her that it warmed my heart.  I think a lot of people would have thought he was ridiculous but I found it romantic and lovely.  Fournet has a way with words and she did a great job writing this story.

Story rating: 4 out of 5

 

Off Limits by Kristin Vayden

Markus and Bryce were college roommates and best friends.  Bryce got drafted into the NFL and Markus got hired by Prestige Media Group and becomes his agent.  Bryce has a twin, Ava, who Markus has been in love with for forever.  He wants nothing more than to make Ava happy but she hates him because she thought at one point in Bryce’s career that Markus was selling out and taking a risk with Bryce’s life.  Bryce has gotten a concussion but recovered and went back onto the field.  Ava believed that Bryce’s life was on the line if he got hit again but he was fine.  Five years later Ava still hates Markus – or at least acts like she does.  She can’t resist the man for long as she’s always had a thing for him. Markus should stay away from his best friend’s sister but he just can’t do it once she finally forgives him.

Unfortunately this was my least favorite of the three stories.  I didn’t feel the chemistry between Markus and Ava as I felt I should.  I also didn’t feel the whole forbidden love thing that the whole anthology was based on.  There were some decent parts of the story but overall I didn’t care for Off Limits.

Story rating: 3 out of 5

 

Overall book rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars

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Retro Review: Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr

Posted May 10, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Retro Review: Shelter Mountain by Robyn CarrReviewer: Rowena
Sheltering Mountain by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #2
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Temptation Ridge (Virgin River, #6), , , , , , , ,
Published by Mira Books
Publication Date: May 1st 2007
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 376
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five-stars

For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more.
Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Rowena and I used to love this series. I remember falling into Virgin River (book 1) and never wanting to leave the little mountain town.

This review was originally posted on October 4, 2007.
In the second book of the Virgin River trilogy, we follow John “Preacher” Middleton and Paige Lassiter on their adventure toward true love, a true love that will last forever and ever, Amen. We meet Paige Lassiter when she stumbles into Jack and Preacher’s Bar and Grill on a stormy night. She’s carrying her three year old son, Christopher and he’s sleeping and she’s in desperate need of …help. She’s very wary of Preacher, being the big bear of a man that he is and because she’s been badly beaten, Preacher does his best to help her, so his first order of business is to try to convince this young woman to stick around town for a little while so she can heal. She finally agrees and as the days pass, a love bond is formed between Paige and John and they slowly become a family unit, one that will go to the ends of the earth to help, protect and love the hell out of each other.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that I was so looking forward to reading this book after reading the masterpiece (well in my eyes anyway) that was Virgin River. You see, in Virgin River, John “Preacher” Middleton is described as a big, bald motherbrother with bushy eyebrows, likened to Mr. Clean.

Mr. Clean? Yeah…not so my choice for Sexiest Man of the Year, if he’s yours, more power to you but for me? Not so much. So, being the shallow young woman that I am, I had a hard time getting excited about reading his book because, well…I wanted a hot stud of a hero and to me, Preacher just wasn’t it….but, I was happy when I started this book to learn that even though Preacher wasn’t the most hottest of heroes, he was still a very good and solid hero, one that I ended up loving (in a purely sisterly way of course) the hell out of, so that just goes to show you just how good, Robyn Carr is…I loved Preacher!

In this book, Jack and Mel are having their baby, Mike Valenzuela, their Marine friend is shot on the job and out on disability, Rick and Liz go through some really rough patches in their journey to adulthood and Preacher leans on the support of his friends to help Paige and her little boy fight the big bad monster that comes in the form of Paige’s evil ex husband, Wes Lassiter.

There was so much going on in this book and it should have left me feeling confused, miffed even because a lot of pages were dedicated to the townfolk of Virgin River and then to the setting up of the next book, Whispering Rock, which will star Mike Valenzuela and Brie Sheridan. The kicker of it all though, is I wasn’t mad, I didn’t feel cheated out of John and Paige’s story because I felt that Robyn Carr did a fabulous job of incorporating everything into this one book. I don’t feel that John and Paige needed more page time for their story because I felt that there was the right amount of EVERYTHING in this book.

I fell right in love with Paige and Chris for Preacher when I was reading this book and though I enjoyed the bits and pieces of their story that was laid out for me to read, I felt that the other parts of this book, the Rick and Liz parts, the Mike parts, the Jack and Mel parts were all creatively included in this story and made me feel like I was apart of the town of Virgin River, not merely reading about them.

What I really enjoyed about this story, is the way it’s told. Robyn Carr writes her stories, making the reader (well, this reader anyway) feel as though she’s sitting on a bar stool at Jack’s at the end of the day, beer in front of them, while they watched everything going down around them. I felt what the characters felt, I grieved with the characters and I was steamed right alongside, Preacher, Jack and Mike when Wes came into town, interrupting their town life. I was scared right alongside Paige, when she walked out of the corner store, coming back from watching Soap Opera’s to find the one man that has the ability to render her scared out of her wits, Wes. I felt Jack’s rage when Wes pushed Mel down and I raged right beside Preacher…I could even taste the cookies that Preacher and Christopher made, RC is that good with a pen.

This book was more than just about Preacher and Paige finding love together. It’s about the small town that they live in and the people that surround them. It’s about unity and family and those are things that I really enjoy in a book. This book certainly does not disappoint. I fell right in love with this story as I did when reading, Virgin River.

Gosh, I’m hoping against hope that RC decides to write, Rick’s story because I have come to love the hell out of that boy. I got all teary eyed when all the crap went down with him and Liz, my heart broke right along with him and when he chooses to become a man and make Jack and Preacher proud of him, my heart swelled because I have fallen head over heels in love with this little boy who is growing up to be such a wonderful man. I’m rooting him on because I love him that much and I hope to high heaven that he gets his own story because I think he totally deserves one. Another man in this story that I fell like a rock for was, Mike Valenzuela. Goodness, even all sick and “weak dicked” this man to me is one sexy motherbrother. I already started his book and am counting the minutes until I can read the book again, that’s how much I loved Mike in this story, I already approve of his heroine choice and I’m soaking up the words as fast as I could because this series is just fantabulous!

I’m giving this book an A because I just loved it to pieces and thought RC did a fabulous job writing this, she’s totally going on my Auto-Buy list because of this series, kudos, Mrs. Carr, well done.

5 out of 5

five-stars

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Guest Review: Love Me Again by Jaci Burton

Posted May 10, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Love Me Again by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Tracy
Love Me Again by Jaci Burton
Series: Hope Series #7
Also in this series: Hope Flames, Hope Ignites, Hope Burns, Love After All, Make Me Stay, Don't Let Go
Published by Jove Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When Loretta Simmons returns to Hope, Oklahoma, after a disastrous marriage, she’s determined to remain independent for the sake of her daughter. The only thing standing in her way is Deacon Fox—the man she loved and walked away from years ago.

Since Loretta owns the bookstore right next to his current renovation project, Deacon can’t escape the woman who broke his heart. Throw in her adorable little girl and one ridiculously oversized dog, and they’re almost a family. Only he can’t be that guy—what they had was once in a lifetime.
But love has a funny way of re-opening a door you thought was firmly closed…

Loretta and Deacon were in a relationship in high school and even talked about their future life together.  Loretta’s parents had other ideas for her future and being the dutiful daughter she’d always been she ended up dumping Deacon and getting married to another man, Tom. Loretta’s life with Tom was anything but fun but she got a wonderful daughter, Hazel, out of her marriage.  When she divorced her cheating, controlling husband she wanted nothing more than to be an independent woman and show her daughter how strong women could be without a man involved.

Loretta moved back to her hometown of Hope after her divorce.  The bookstore she started is next to a building that Deacon’s construction company is working on.  Deacon first meets Hazel and loves her personality.  When Hazel gets a dog Deacon offers to help her with the training.  When he’s out at the farm that Loretta bought he offers to give her a bid for some work that needs to be done around the farm.  This puts him on the farm quite a bit between the training and the work.

Deacon was heart-broken after Loretta broke up with him but he moved on. He dated some and started his own construction company with his friend Reid.  He didn’t hold a grudge against Loretta for breaking up with him and while things are awkward with her when she first returns to town he can’t stop staring at the beautiful woman she’s become.

Deacon falls in love with Hazel and would do anything for Loretta’s incredible child.  Deacon and Loretta get closer and soon start a relationship. Neither are sure it’s the best idea but they just can’t stay away from each other.

Another great addition to the Hope series.  I loved both Deacon and Loretta and I really loved the fact that this was a pretty light and airy story with little to no angst.  The author gave us a lovely second chance romance.

I mentioned little to no angst and one of the things I loved about this book was that Loretta and Deacon were so…adult.  I mean that in the best way.  There were no ridiculous misunderstandings and when it came to Loretta being upset with Deacon, he knew it.  He also said to her that she needed to talk to him about what was bothering her rather than sitting at home by herself being mad at him and him not being about to defend himself if necessary.  I mean, geez, what a novel concept, right?  Two people talking things out and communicating – what is the world coming to? 🙂  That was one of my favorite parts of the book.

Another favorite of mine in the book was, you guessed it, the dog…Otis.  Burton loves animals in her stories and this was a good one.  Otis was a gigantic goofy great dane who was a big love-bug.  Hazel had picked him up at the pound when her mother said she could get a dog.  Loretta was hoping for a small dog like a chihuahua but no, Hazel picked the biggest dog she could find.  It was adorable and so was Otis.  I loved him to pieces and wanted him for my own.

Overall the story was great.  We got to interact with characters from previous books and catch up with them so if you’ve read all of the books in the series you’ll enjoy that part.  The book has a lot going for it – adorable little girls, love, romance, a goofy dog and some pretty hot sex scenes.  It’s definitely a book I recommend as it was just fun to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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