Publisher: Avon

Guest Review: Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan

Posted January 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Beautiful Lawman by Sophie JordanReviewer: Tracy
Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil's Rock #4
Also in this series: All Chained Up (Devil's Rock #1), Fury on Fire
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From the wrong side of the tracks and with most of her family in jail or dead, Piper Walsh is used to everyone in town thinking the worst about her. It doesn’t seem to matter that she’s worked hard to build a good life for herself. So she isn’t surprised that when she comes into contact with Sweet Hill’s wildly irresistible, arrogant sheriff, Hale Walters, they’re instant adversaries. Piper has nothing in common with the town golden-boy-turned-lawman—and she refuses to be a notch on his bedpost.

Despite rumors, Hale avoids fooling around with the women of Sweet Hill, many of whom are hoping to get him to the altar. But staying out of Piper’s path is proving near impossible. The infuriating troublemaker clearly has no respect for his badge. As she continues to push his buttons, it becomes clear to Hale that he must either arrest Piper—or claim her as his own.

Piper Walsh is working as a waitress in strip club.  She doesn’t dance, just serves drinks.  She hates it, but she has to provide for her younger sister who she is guardian of while her brother is in prison.  When Piper’s sister gets into trouble and Piper is called in to the Sheriff station to pick her up she’s not happy.  She’s even more unhappy when she loses her job because of it and can’t find another one.  She finally bites the bullet and tells the owner of the strip club that she’ll do lap dances but nothing else.  When Hale Walters, the know-it-all-but-incredibly-hot sheriff walks in and gets a lap dance it goes way farther than Piper or Hale expect it to.

Hale is hot for Piper and doesn’t understand why everyone treats her like crap.  Sure, he’s done his fair share of being judgmental, but the more he gets to know her the more he sees that she’s not a bad person.  He saves her bacon in the job department and eventually Hale and Piper start a hot and intense relationship.  But will everyone else’s opinions end up tearing them apart?

This was a good book – very hot with a good story.  I liked the mystery of why Piper’s brother was in prison – they kept alluding to it but not actually coming out and telling us why he was in Devil’s Rock.  Piper was amazing.  She would do what it took to take care of her younger sister and loved her brother so much that she refused to move away even when she couldn’t find a job better than lap-dancing. I loved that about her.  She had grit and wasn’t afraid to live a hard life.  She hated it, but she did it.

Hale was a great character as well and while at first I thought he was an ass, he definitely grew on me as the pages were turned.

My issues with the book really stemmed from the lack of romance in this one.  Yes, they were hot in bed together but I needed more in their relationship to take this book up a few notches in the “like” department.  I definitely liked it enough to look into reading the other Devil’s Rock books – this was my first intro into the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Devils Rock Series

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell

Posted December 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy MaxwellReviewer: Tracy
If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

He’s inherited a title, but not a penny to speak of, so the Earl of Rochdale knows he must find a wife—preferably one tolerably pretty and good-tempered, but definitely wealthy, and willing to exchange her fortune for his family name. 

His choice: Leonie Charnock, one of the season’s “Spinster Heiresses.” Years before, the earl had saved the dark-eyed beauty’s reputation, and she is still breathtakingly lovely, leading Rochdale to hope that their marriage will be more than in name only.  

However, Leonie doesn’t want to be anyone’s wife. Nearly destroyed by the secrets in her past, Leonie agrees to their union with one condition: there will be a wedding but no bedding. But it’s a condition the new Countess Rochdale isn’t sure even she can keep . . .

Roman Gilchrist has inherited the title of the Earl of Rochdale.  Unfortunately with that title came the debts that his predecessors had racked up and he’s told that he needs to marry quickly in order to pay them off.  He’s told that there are three heiresses that are called the Spinster Heiresses and that marrying one of them will get him out of debt.  He is more than hesitant as his family has always married for love and he’s a romantic at heart.  He wants that love as well.

Roman is shocked and pleased when he hears that Leonie Charnock is one of the heiresses.  He thought himself in love with her at one time and lost his army commission because of her.  He thinks he has harsh feelings towards her but he may be confusing those with love.

Leonie plans to never marry but her father is insisting.  She tries to put him off as much as possible.  Her father and mother live separate lives so between them hating each other and an experience from her younger days she’s determined to stay single.  That is until Roman comes back into the picture.  She never thought to see him again but when she does, feelings that she thought long buried come to the surface. Her mother long ago offered her brandy to “take off the edge” of anything she was feeling.  Unfortunately Leonie never stopped taking the edge off and she now can’t live without the alcohol to get through the day.  Despite her determination to stay single she soon finds herself married but Roman isn’t thrilled with the woman she’s become.

This was an interesting second chance at love/reunion romance.  It wasn’t my favorite of Maxwell’s books but it was good.  I can’t say that I loved delving into the topic of alcoholism but it happens, so I applaud Maxwell’s decision to write about it.  Unfortunately it turned Roman into a bit of an ass.

The first part of the book was really good and I was highly enjoying it until Roman and Leonie got married.  That started a string of events where Roman was just a douche.  I wish I could say he dealt with things well but except for when they were having sex, his attitude annoyed the heck out of me.  I was happy to see him try to deal with Leonie’s alcoholism rather than cast her out, but the way he went about it just got my hackles up.

Leonie was a nice girl who’d had a shitty life.  She was dealing with it the best she could – unfortunately that included alcohol.  Despite her alcoholism she was a kind person and I didn’t feel she truly deserved the horrible things that Roman said to her.  I guess that was his version of tough love but I didn’t care to read about it in a romance novel.

Despite my issues with the second part of the book I did like it.  If you don’t mind delving into a book that might have you wishing you could throw the hero across the room then pick this one up. 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Release Day Blitz: Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan

Posted December 26, 2017 by Holly in Promotions | 2 Comments

Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan is out today.

Release Day Blitz: Beautiful Lawman by Sophie JordanBeautiful Lawman (Devil's Rock #4) by Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil's Rock #4
Also in this series: All Chained Up (Devil's Rock #1), Fury on Fire, Beautiful Lawman
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

From the wrong side of the tracks and with most of her family in jail or dead, Piper Walsh is used to everyone in town thinking the worst about her. It doesn’t seem to matter that she’s worked hard to build a good life for herself. So she isn’t surprised that when she comes into contact with Sweet Hill’s wildly irresistible, arrogant sheriff, Hale Walters, they’re instant adversaries. Piper has nothing in common with the town golden-boy-turned-lawman—and she refuses to be a notch on his bedpost.

Despite rumors, Hale avoids fooling around with the women of Sweet Hill, many of whom are hoping to get him to the altar. But staying out of Piper’s path is proving near impossible. The infuriating troublemaker clearly has no respect for his badge. As she continues to push his buttons, it becomes clear to Hale that he must either arrest Piper—or claim her as his own.

Excerpt

“You.”

He didn’t reply right away. She stood there, not sure whether to bolt or step forward and punch him. Was this some kind of joke? The guy that sneered at this place, at her . . . was in this room as her first client? It didn’t make sense. The sheriff she knew—the sheriff she thought she knew—wouldn’t even think about stepping foot in this room. Not him. Not Mr. Stick-Up-His-Ass. He didn’t do strippers. His words. Jerk.

“My cousin insisted that I take a lap dance,” he finally said. She froze at that deep voice, goose bumps breaking over her skin as the gravel of his words rolled over her.

Nightmare confirmed. It was him. He was doing this. He was sitting there. It was happening.

She had to take off her clothes and dance for him. Heat flared inside her. It was anger. That was it. Nothing more. The fact that it was him in all his hotness did not affect her libido at all.

“Your cousin?” she asked.

“Evan Sanders.”

“That jackass is your cousin?” She made a sound of disgust. “I should have guessed the connection.”

“Really?” He angled his head. “Should people judge people based off family connections?”

She sucked in a breath. That arrow was aimed directly for her. “You’re a lawman. Can you even be in here? Doesn’t this break some ethical code?”

“There’s nothing illegal about me being here. You’re just dancing.”

“And taking off my clothes,” she flung at him.

He settled his big hands on the tops of his thighs. His fingers were blunt tipped, the nails

trimmed and clean. He was quiet for a moment before that dark voice of his agreed. “And taking off your clothes.”

Her skin shivered. She couldn’t move. She felt like the clichéd deer caught in the crosshairs. She shifted her weight. “Well. You paid for half an hour.”

“That long?”

“Thirty minutes is the minimum.”

“Then by all means.” He fluttered a hand. “Do your thing.”

Right. Do your thing.

She squared her feet apart and focused, for the first time, on the music being piped in from the speakers overhead. It was classic rock. She closed her eyes and let it fill her. She rolled her head slightly and let her hips move, hands coming to her sides. Her palms drifted up over her abdomen and rib cage. She tried not to think of him, but she couldn’t help it. She could actually feel his eyes on her, his gaze crawling all over her.

The same pulsing tightness she had felt in her stomach when they talked at the park returned. Just like that. A match catching fire. She was turned on knowing he was watching her as she touched herself. It was so messed up.

She let her hands move of their own accord, dragging them across her breasts. She gave in to temptation and opened her eyes and met his gaze. And there was nothing. He watched her blankly. No reaction.

Damn it. This was humiliating. Her movements stalled and she heard his arrogant voice in her head again. I don’t do strippers. She felt foolish. All her efforts were wasted on him because he didn’t want this. His cousin insisted he take a lap dance. That’s why he was here.

A loud commotion sounded from outside the room. She turned and looked toward the door. The door opened and one of the girls stuck her head in. “Marty! We need you!”

Marty hesitated and glanced back at them.

Piper shrugged. “Go on. I’m fine.” She wasn’t in danger with the sheriff. The guy was a block of ice. Marty didn’t need to worry about leaving them alone.

The bouncer glanced at the sheriff. Clearly Marty knew who he was. Satisfied she was in safe hands with the lawman, he nodded and hurried out of the room. She turned back to face Walters.

“You sure about that?” he asked.

“Being alone with you in here?” She snorted. “Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine.”

He wasn’t going to pounce on her. He looked more interested in a nap than watching her take off her clothes. And that bugged her. Perversely, she knew, but she wanted this guy to be . . . affected. “Should I be worried?” she asked, her fingers curling around the hem of her dress, inching it up just a little.

“You work at Joe’s. You should always be on your guard.”

“Such a very correct answer, Sheriff Walters.” She stepped forward, moving into the shadows with him. “But why should I be worried about you? You don’t do strippers, remember?”

His gray eyes fixed on her face, but he didn’t answer.

In one move, she pulled her dress over her head. It whispered on the air before it dropped on the floor behind her.

She stood there in her heels. Chill air skated over her and her nipples puckered and tightened inside her bra.

“You’re a cop,” she murmured. “If I’m not safe with you . . .” She let her voice fade suggestively.

His eyes were still fixed on hers, but there was an intensity there now. His jaw was locked, face frozen as though he couldn’t look anywhere except at her eyes. As though he wouldn’t allow himself to look anywhere else but her face. Such a masochist.

And she wasn’t having that.

She ran her hands over her front, dragging them over her demicups and down the slope of her stomach. She arrowed her fingers over the tiny swatch of fabric covering her sex, sliding her fingertips sensuously against the silk.

Still, he did not look anywhere except her face. Ugh. Stubborn man. “What’s the matter? You knew I was going to strip. You don’t want to look?”

Something ignited inside her at the challenge he presented. He was a block of ice but she would crack him. With a growl of frustration she backed up several steps, offering him a wider view. She moved slightly with the music, letting it pump through her. She wanted him to want her.

She needed him to.

She fanned her fingers over her face, keeping them parted so she could still peer out at him. Her goal was to start where he was fixated—on her face—and work her way down, bringing him with her.

As her fingers reached her lips, she let impulse guide her and sucked a finger into her mouth.

And there it was. Something flickered in his gaze, cracking the frosty gray.

It was all the validation she needed.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || iBOOKS || KOBO

Devil’s Rock

About the Author

Sophie Jordan

WEBSITE| TWITTER | FACEBOOK| INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.


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Guest Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Posted December 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #1
Also in this series: A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes, #1)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

Olympia is a girl who should be quite happy to be marrying a duke.  She knows that she needs to do this because her parents have no idea how to handle money and she wants to make sure that her 5 brothers are cared for.  Unfortunately, on her wedding day, the more she thinks about marrying the Duke of  Ashmont the more she realizes she just can’t do.  Olympia, the bookish girl who nobody thinks will step out of line, does a runner.

The Duke of Ripley, on of the Duke of Ashmont’s best friends, sees Olympia run for it and follows.  He tries to get her to return to her wedding but the farther away they get the more Ripley realizes that he doesn’t want her to return.  He wants her for himself but he knows he can’t betray his best friend like that.  He and Ashmont have been best friends for years and Ripley’s loyal to him.  So how come he can’t get Olympia out of his head.

Loretta Chase does it again!  She’s written a fun, entertaining, humorous romance with a premise I never expected.  The charm that Chase stuffed into ADiSA was amazing.  I was smiling or laughing throughout most of the story and I loved it.

Both Ripley and Olympia were great characters and I loved them together.  I loved that Olympia wasn’t afraid to speak her mind about Their Dis-graces (Ripley, Ashmont and their friend the Duke of Blackwood) and her disdain for them.  Of course the more that Olympia got to know Ripley she realized that there wasn’t just fluff in his head.  She truly didn’t want to hurt Ashmont but she felt he was immature enough to get over it quickly. Lol  Of course Chase wrote some incredible secondary characters as well with Blackwood, Ashmont, and Ripley’s aunt Julia.

The overall story is one that I loved and highly recommend.  If you like fun, irreverent historical romances then this is one you should definitely read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Retro-Review: Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway

Posted December 6, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro-Review: Must Love Mistletoe by Christie RidgwayReviewer: Casee
Must Love Mistletoe (Holidays, #1) by Christie Ridgway
Series: Holidays #1
Published by Avon Books
Publication Date: December 1st 2006
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 358
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Bailey Sullivan can't stand Christmas, even though her family's business is a store specializing in the perfect holiday. But now her hometown's chief supplier of rooftop Rudolphs and treetop angels is in danger of going under--it's up to Bailey to save the shop.

She has it all planned: She'll arrive on December 1 and be gone by Christmas. Plus there's always spiked eggnog to ease the pain. But "Humbug" Bailey's not the only one home for the holidays. Finn Jacobson--legendary local bad boy-turned-Secret Service agent "and" Bailey's long-lost high-school sweetheart--is once again the boy next door. Only this time he's "all grown up," and the sparks are flying faster and hotter than ever!

Bailey believes in true love about as much as she believes in Santa Claus. But as the holiday draws closer, she's starting to think about one thing she'd like to find under her tree . . .

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

Holly: I really love some of Ridgway’s books. I can’t remember if I reviewed this book here, but I do remember I really enjoyed it.

This review was originally posted on December 18, 2008.

I know I’ve said this already, but I love Christmas books. My favorite Christmas book of all time is Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn Pappano. I re-read it every year. I’ve had this book for a few years, but I never got around to reading it. This holiday season, I decided that it was just what I needed.

Bailey Sullivan barely tolerates Christmas. Her idea of a good Christmas is to pretend that it’s not Christmas. Unfortunately this Christmas isn’t going to be what she hoped it was. When she finds out that her parents store, The Perfect Christmas, is in trouble, Bailey immediately heads home. From the moment she sets foot back in her hometown, she’s determined to do what needs to be done and get out. Her deadline is December 25th.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, especially when it comes to Christmas.

Finn Jacobson has never forgotten his GND-Girl Next Door. As a rebellious teen, Finn’s parents decided that the best thing for Finn would be to go spend summers with his grandmother. Though he hated it at first, it didn’t take long for him to fall for Bailey, a girl that was so different from the type of person he was. Finn has never forgiven her for leaving town without a word. When she comes back to town, he decides to keep his distance.

Again, nothing ever goes according to plan.

Bailey is a heroine that has issues, but has never admitted that to herself. When her dad walked out when she was little, Bailey remembers her mom’s devastation. That shaped the woman that she’s become. Though she loves her stepfather, Bailey keeps her distance even from him. The fact that her mom and stepfather have separated only proves Bailey’s point. Still, she has a hard time staying away from Finn, the only person that’s understood her.

This was exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up. It had humor and poignancy. The secondary romance between Bailey’s mom and her stepfather was beyond sweet. Bailey’s inner struggle with her feelings for Finn were extremely sad. She doesn’t easily accept that she needs him in her life. But Christmas is a time for miracles, right?

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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