Publisher: Ellora's Cave

Throwback Thursday Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty

Posted January 4, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 10 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCartyReviewer: Holly
Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty
Series: Promises #1
Also in this series: Promises Prevail (Promises, #3)
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: 2004-07
Genres: Fiction, Erotica
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Promises Linger By Sarah McCarty 1868 Wyoming Territory Elizabeth Coyote will do anything, anything at all, to save the ranch she loves, including marrying Asa MacIntyre, a broad shouldered, lean hipped silver eyed gunslinger with a ruthless reputation for getting the job done. Asa dreams of a place of his own, a wife, and the respect that comes with both. Marrying Elizabeth may have started as a means to an end, but nothing in Asa's wildest dreams prepares him for the excitement of unleashing the carnal woman beneath his wife's prim and proper exterior.

*****Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 19, 2007.

The first book I read by Sarah McCarty prior to this was Caine’s Reckoning. When Casee reviewed that book, she said something about the cover being a vast improvement from SM’s other covers…At the time, I said she was crazy, because I didn’t like the cover for CR. But then I saw the cover for this one and her other Promises books and now I understand…this cover is horrid. Those people scare me. shudder

Anyway, it’s lucky I don’t judge books based on their covers. This one was a fabulous read.

Elizabeth Coyote is in a pickle. Her father died and left her his ranch, but a woman alone in the late 1800’s can’t run a cattle ranch on her own..she needs a man to help her. So she marries the first man that comes a’courtin, Brent, only he turns out to be the worst scoundrel ever. Since it turns out the marriage wasn’t legal and never consummated, she turns instead to Asa McIntyre. He’s got a reputation for being mean as spit when he’s riled, but also gentle with women and children. She doesn’t have the best opinion of men, but figures to go with the lesser of two evils and marry Asa to save her ranch.

For Asa’s part, he’s always wanted a spread of his own and a lady for a wife. So when Elizabeth proposes marriage to save her ranch, he figures this is just God’s way of telling him dreams do come true. But he’s in for a surprise, because Elizabeth isn’t quite the lady he made her out to be, and saving the ranch could be his most difficult task yet.

I’ve never been a big fan of Westerns (Sorry Sybil). There isn’t a particular reason, they just aren’t my cup-a, but Sarah McCarty is going a long way towards changing my mind about this. I love her writing voice and the way she weaves her stories.

Before I go into my thoughts on this, can just say SM really knows how to open a story. Every book I’ve read of hers (I’m on my 4th now) so far has started off with a bang. This book was no exception. I was absolutely in awe of the heroine when she marched into a saloon, held her erstwhile husband at gun point and demanded he return her money and walk away from her. And when she smacked him across the face with a stool I cheered. Talk about starting with a bang.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story of Elizabeth and Asa. He’s tough as nails, but also caring and tender when it comes to women and children. And though Elizabeth is stubborn and independent, she’s not gratingly so. She realizes she needs a man to keep her ranch going and though she makes a mistake the first time around, she quickly realizes it and does what she can to correct it. And once she marries Asa, she does her best to be a good wife to him.

Asa was good to Elizabeth, too. Though he’s always wanted a spread of his own and a lady for a wife, he doesn’t take it for granted once he has it. He treats Elizabeth with respect and does his best to tease her into good moods. He understands that Elizabeth has had a rough time of it since her father died and does his best to take care of her and keep her safe.

Elizabeth is scarred by more than what’s happened since her father’s death, however. Turns out dear old dad wasn’t a shining example of parenthood and she’s got some unresolved issues. But she doesn’t shy from Asa..much. She tries her best to overcome her fears to please him, and I was captivated by their story.

I did have a few issues, however. The main one being the way Asa constantly shrugged aside Elizabeth’s offers of help around the ranch. She just wanted to be thought of as an equal partner, and he just wanted to keep her safe, but the way they skirted around the issue without really talking it out started to bug me. Her good friend Aaron also got on my nerves. He acted condescending and rude, and Elizabeth just shrugged it off. That might not have bothered me, except whenever her husband acted that way (or one of his men did) she got her knickers all in a twist over it. That seemed incongruous to me. Of course, it all worked out in the end, though, so the above mentioned wasn’t enough to ruin the story for me.

I’m giving this one a:

4.5 out of 5

Be sure to check out the other two books in the series, too.

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Posted August 30, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Above All by Rebecca BrooksReviewer: Tracy
Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Publication Date: July 18th 2014
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Reeling from a sudden breakup, Casey Webb leaves Brooklyn, drives north and settles in a sleepy mountain town in upstate New York. She’s convinced she’s happy being alone—until she reads the acknowledgments in her ex-boyfriend’s hit debut novel, thanking his new girlfriend “above all”. Good thing Ben Mailer is in town. The hot, young Brooklyn-bound chef offers the perfect distraction, and soon Casey is having the best sex of her life—on a mountain, in the lake, all over her cozy cabin. But as their weekend fling turns into something more, the demands of Ben’s family and budding career make moving to her idyllic town impossible. Now Casey must decide what she can’t live without—her life in the mountains or the man she wants as hers. Smart, sweet and blisteringly hot, Above All is about getting lost…and finding yourself right where you belong.

 

Tracy’s review of Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Casey is settled in her cabin in the Adirondacks. She never expected to leave Brooklyn but when she did leave, and found her mountain home, she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. She loved living in the mountains as it made her feel free.

She had given up many years of her life to kowtow to a temperamental boyfriend who in the end broke up with her. She is floored when she reads the acknowledgements in his best-selling novel and sees that he thanks another woman “above all.” It’s been about a year and a half since they broke up but it still hurts when she thinks about it and all she sacrificed for him over the 7 years they were together.

She’s working the desk at the campground that she works at when she checks in a group of late 20-somethings. She meets Ben and the pair have an instant connection. Instead of spending all of his time with his group of friends (as it’s a bit of a college reunion), Ben finds himself spending time with Casey. They talk about their lives and though Casey doesn’t share her past with Ben he tells her of his struggles with his parents and his decisions about his future. He is in culinary school and they want him to be a top chef in an expensive restaurant while Ben wants to bake and have a specialty sandwich shop. That’s his passion but his parents don’t understand.

Ben and Casey become closer but then Ben leaves to go back to school. He returns eventually gets closer and with Casey. They make plans for their future together (after he graduates culinary school in a month) but unfortunately there are more than just Casey and Ben involved in their lives. To shorten a famous saying, the best laid plans often go awry, and in this case it was totally true.

I really liked this contemporary romance. I thought the writing was engaging and once I started reading I didn’t want to stop.

Casey was a great character. I think she had run from her hurts and heartache, which I don’t always think highly of, but I think that ended up being the best thing for her. Her life changed drastically but it all ended up working out really well for her and she was happier than ever. She was smitten with Ben from the first moment she saw him and while I think she fell fast, sometimes that just happens.

Ben was cute and had a good life ahead of him. I think he was young in this story and had a lot of growing to do, which he eventually did. Because of his age he was still greatly influenced by his family and that played a huge role in this story. There were parts in the book where his actions made me want to smack him a time or two, that’s for sure. I won’t give you certain details about the book because I think that it’s something you need to read for yourself, but I will say that Ben did hurt Casey. In the end I don’t feel that he groveled enough to completely redeem himself. His actions did speak incredibly loudly but I think he needed to grovel just a bit more. 🙂

Overall this was a good read and one I recommend. For me, I think I’ll definitely be reading more from Brooks in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Ellora’s Cave Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars


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Guest Review: Blue Knight by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Posted October 7, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Blue Knight by Tracy Cooper-PoseyReviewer: Judith
Blue Knight by Tracey Cooper-Posey
Series: Guns 'n' Lovers #3
Also in this series: Blue Knight
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Caught in the insurrection and held hostage in what was once a luxury hotel, members of a U. N. delegation are being systematically interrogated and, in some cases, tortured. The leader of the revolution is slowly coming apart at the seams and he is looking to force the United States to give his revolutionary government political standing in exchange for the lives of the hostages. However, he is not sure which persons in the delegation are American.

Olivia is a woman who has great diplomatic experience. In fact she is one of the most experienced in the delegation. Yet she recognizes that British businessman, Daniel Castle, really doesn’t “see” her. He has slept with nearly every female in the group except her. Apart from the insult of being “invisible” as a person, she is curiously irritated that he has never seen her as a woman. However, after he climbs in her window one night, stark naked, they both become aware of one another.

Judith‘s review of Blue Knight (Guns n’ Lovers series, Book 3) by Tracy Cooper-Posey.

While this is the third book in the series, it is a stand-alone novel that brings the main characters from the first two books into play and they are significant players in this book’s cast.

This novel is not the easiest of Cooper-Posey’s works that I have read. It is gutsy and edgy, raw and really in-your-face about the political realities and the life & death nature of the situation which faces these hostages each day. The author also brings the reader into the inner workings of what the ousted government is trying to do to retrieve control of this country from the crazies. This is where the reader meets characters from the first two books. The novel, however, is really about Olivia and Daniel.

Daniel is a shadowy character. He needs to stay on the outside boundaries of the group and there are several occasions where his identity and the hard attention of the revolutionary leadership collide — almost. On a couple of occasions Olivia puts herself in dire straits in order to deflect the attention of the soldiers and their leadership. As the story progresses the reader begins to understand that this is an extraordinary lady with deep wells of strength and perseverance. She will “be there” for each and every one of these people in her delegation and especially as her attachment and involvement with Daniel grows, she knows that she will do whatever it takes to protect him.

This is a very tense and meaty novel–with the love story being central to the book. The relationships which began in the first two books also progress. So there is plenty in this novel for romance fans to like. But it is also made very intense because of the context of the novel and the danger in which these lovers constantly find themselves.

This is a very well-written novel. However, I have to admit that it was slow starting for me–switching back and forth from the hostages to the strategizing of the ousted government was not easy for me at first. Yet it all came together ultimately and it was a very good read. Cooper-Posey is a writer of note and has lots of successes under her literary belt. She has kept the tension and energy alive in this third novel and that is not easy to do. I had the feeling that this book was every bit as compelling as any by Robert Ludlum or James Patterson. Others may not agree, but for me it kept me on the edge of my chair from page one. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

four-half-stars


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Review: Blue Knight by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Posted September 29, 2010 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Blue Knight by Tracy Cooper-PoseyReviewer: Tracy
Blue Knight by Tracey Cooper-Posey
Series: Guns 'n' Lovers #3
Also in this series: Blue Knight
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Held hostage by the Insurrectos for weeks and forgotten by the world, Olivia has watched Daniel bed everyone women but her, who he can’t see. Daniel lives dangerously and is forced to use her window one night to avoid the guards. Naked and faced with a long-legged woman who doesn’t want him, his curiosity is piqued.

Under the hostile, suspicious gazes of the guards, they begin a game of heated seduction where the stakes are so high no one, not even their fellow hostages, must suspect there is a connection between them. As Daniel teaches her how to defy the guards the tension between them, both sexual and personal, spirals until it threatens to shatter.

Olivia learns that Daniel is not quite who she thought he was. Now she is fighting for Daniel’s life too, for if the Insurrectos find out who he really is, then the man she has come to love will be instantly executed…

FYI – This review contains spoilers

Stuck in a fancy hotel in war torn Vistaria, Olivia’s quite surprised when a naked man crawls into her window one night. It’s fellow diplomat, Daniel, who was sneaking out of her neighbor’s room. After an tension filled night with harsh words spoken between the two of them, life gets back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for hostages. Daniel and Olivia begin a sexual relationship but it becomes much more in a very short time but it’s something they have to hide from their captors.

Olivia soon learns that Daniel isn’t who she thought. He played a British diplomat well but he’s really a loyalist Vistarian who is trying to save his country, and now Olivia, from being taken from him and his countrymen.

This is book 3 in the Guns ‘n’ Lovers series and it’s a good one. I have to admit that I didn’t LOVE the first book, Red Leopard, but it set a nice stage for the series. The second book, Black Heart, was very good and continued the struggle to get Vistaria back into its rightful hands but had a great romance as well. This book again continued the effort to regain the country but also had a lovely romance as well – if not a typical one.

The story lets us see further into Calli and Nick’s relationship (from book 1) and Nick’s attempts to receive help from US and Mexico as well as try to form some sort of cabinet to work with. But the main part of the book was the struggle inside the hotel that Olivia, Daniel and their fellow captives endured by the psychotic captors.

This is, at times, not an easy book to read. The author pulls no punches and makes it quite realistic, with torture and a rape scene (not with the h/h). While I found them hard to read I didn’t feel that they were put in there for sensationalism. These were things that real hostages would have endured and I while I had a hard time reading those scenes, I liked the book that much more because of them.

In the end I really liked the book. I liked the political aspects, the spy/mystery portion of it and of course the romance. I loved seeing two people fall in love in a less than stellar situation that may not have met in every day life.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This book was received by the author for review. It releases from Ellora’s Cave on 10/1/10

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Posted July 28, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-PoseyReviewer: Judith
Dead Again by Tracey Cooper-Posey
Series: Romantic Thrillers #2
Published by Cerridwen Press
Publication Date: May 27, 2010
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A small plan crashes in the Rockies and the only two survivors, Jack and Sophie, help each other live until rescue arrives seven days later. Only Sophie goes on to pick up the pieces of her life which has not been irrevocably changed by big, gentle Jack’s love and death.

But Sophie learns that Jack’s death didn’t close that chapter of her life after all. A drifter called Martin holds the key to her heart, alongside a deadly secret. Combined with a corrupt and desperate police chief and her pressure-cooker life as a single mother in a small town, they plunge her head-deep into the aftershocks caused by those seven days in the mountains. The consequences will reach out to rock state governors, district attorneys and one of the deadliests crime lords in the land, and all of them have reason to react. For Sophie, life is about to change again–for the worse.

Judith‘s review of Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-Posey.

This is a new author for me, but I have to say that right from the outset, I was hooked! I have always been a sucker for a good political novel and while I wouldn’t call this strictly one of those, there are overtones and a back story here that spice up this novel to the finger nail biting level. Seven days on a rock ledge in the Rockies, trying in every way possible to survive, can draw two people together into a bond that exceeds all others. And so it seemed with Sophie and Jack. To have that bond severed by Jack’s death was almost more than Sophie could endure. She even went on to marry a man that closely resembled Jack, but of course, it wasn’t him at all. After trying for years and two children to make believe it was him, Sophie just couldn’t endure the marriage any longer. She is now the owner-manager of a small cafe in a remote area of Montana where she lives with her kids and her housekeeper. Even though her brain keeps telling her that Jack is dead, she never really stops looking for him, and when a drifter wanders into town looking so much like Jack she is stunned, she knows that no matter how this all turns out, her life will never be the same. She’s absolutely right!

I liked this novel very much. I particularly liked Jack, a man who grieved over the loss of lives in the initial plane crash, who did extraordinary things to save Sophie and keep her alive in spite of overwhelming odds against them. Even in his death he made provision for Sophie to have the best medical care for her injuries and to be able to move forward with her life. Sophie is a woman of tremendous personal strength–a woman whose grief stayed with her in spite of knowing that Jack was dead, but who knew that she had to make a life for herself and her kids in spite of that hole in her heart that could never be filled. They are both wonderful characters that represent the best of what we hope humanity can be.

There are loads of bad guys in this story–an attorney that is suspect, a police chief that is obsessed with Sophie and uses his office to pull off some fairly awful stuff, a crime lord, a state governor, and folks here and there that aren’t your usual PTA members. The author has told this story so well that Sophie’s fear for her life and that of her kids is palpable. It just seems to flow off the page into the reader’s mind. The mystery and suspense are well contained but they are always in the background, driving the reader on to the next page. Yet there is loving concern and family support, affection and deep romantic attachment. The erotic encounters are truly sensual but all “wrapped” in the context of a bond that transcends the pettiness of small-minded people.

This is a very good book and it will be one that romance fans and mystery fans alike can enjoy.

I give this novel a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

This book is available from Cerridwen Press. You can buy it here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

four-half-stars


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