Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Throwback Thursday Review: Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts

Posted March 18, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Chasing Fire by Nora RobertsReviewer: Rowena
Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: April 14, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: No
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 477
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars

Little else in life is as dangerous as fire jumping. Flying past towering pillars of smoke, parachuting down to the edge of an all-consuming blaze, shoveling and sawing for hours upon hours, days at a time, all to hold the line and push back against the raw power of Mother Nature.

But there's also little else as thrilling - at least to Rowan Tripp. The Missoula smoke jumpers are one of the most exclusive fire-fighting squads in the nation, and the job is in Rowan's blood: her father is a legend in the field. She's been fighting fires since her eighteenth birthday. At this point, returning to the wilds of Montana for the season feels like coming home - even with reminders of the partner she lost last season still lingering in the air.

Fortunately, this year's rookie crop is among the strongest ever - and Gulliver Curry's one of the best. He's also a walking contradiction, a hotshot firefighter with a big vocabulary, and a winter job at a kid's arcade. He came to Missoula to follow in the footsteps of Lucas "Iron Man" Tripp, yet he's instantly more fascinated by his hero's daughter. Rowan, as a rule, doesn't hook up with other smoke jumpers, but Gull is convinced he can change her mind. And damn if he doesn't make a good case to be an exception to the rule.

Everything is thrown off balance, though, when a dark presence lashes out against Rowan, looking to blame someone for last year's tragedy. Rowan knows she can't complicate things with Gull - any distractions in the air or on the ground could be lethal. But if she doesn't find someone she can lean on when the heat gets intense, her life may go down in flames.

This review was originally posted on May 31, 2011.

It took me a while to read this book. It started off pretty great but as the book wore on, I found myself wanting to move on to the next book already. That bummed me out because I love Nora Roberts. She always has the ability to make any occupation under the sun seem so hot dang interesting. I’ve never thought about fire jumpers but holy goodness, are they intense or what? I couldn’t imagine myself jumping out of planes into the thick of roaring fires to try to contain them. I couldn’t imagine having a loved one be part of this occupation either, those long nights when they’re out on a fire and waiting to hear back from them to make sure they’re alright.

This book tells the story of how Rowan Tripp and Gulliver Curry fell in love. Rowan is a seasoned fire jumper and Gulliver is a rookie fire jumper. Gulliver likes what he sees whenever Rowan is around and his flirty attitude and general hotness are totally wearing Ro down. There’s a crazy person out to get the fire jumpers and all fingers seem to be pointed at Dolly, the ex-girlfriend of a fire jumper that died a year or so ago. She blames the fire jumper crew, especially Ro (who was Jimmy’s partner) and she’s done a bang-up job of telling them (Ro) exactly how she feels about them (her).

Nora Roberts writes a lot of fantabulous books and while I did start off enjoying the heck out of this book, overall this story dragged for me. There’s a lot of unnecessary information going on in this book. Lots of things going on as well and while it usually works for me, the secondary romance between Ro’s father and one of his customers didn’t really get me excited to continue reading the story.

The romance between Ro and Gully showed such promise in the beginning but teetered off somewhere in the middle. Ro’s trust issues and all the craziness that comes with all of the drama at work (Dolly destroying Ro’s room, the destruction of the room, etc…) should have made this book more interesting but for some reason, it just wasn’t. The book isn’t bad, it’s just not in your face exciting either. The characters, the story, the setting, it’s all painted with such pretty words but that’s about it. The book has great imagery when it comes to the actual fires and what goes down at the firehouse but other than that, things were just okay.

I enjoyed getting to know everyone in the story but I can’t honestly say that these characters will stay with me the way that other books by Nora Roberts have.

3 out of 5

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Sweethand by N.G. Peltier

Posted March 14, 2021 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

I came across this book first on Twitter and then on Goodreads. I noticed the cover first because how cute is it? I love the colors and the dress that the heroine on the cover is wearing. I’m a sucker for baker heroine romances and this one provides that as well as a hate to love romance with a wedding backdrop. I’m SO in for this!! I’m super thrilled that N.G. Peltier was kind enough to provide an excerpt for us to share on the blog today so without further adieu…check it out!

Sunday Spotlight: Sweethand by N.G. PeltierSweethand by N.G. Peltier
Series: Island Bites #1
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 275
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

After a public meltdown over her breakup from her cheating musician boyfriend, Cherisse swore off guys in the music industry, and dating in general for a while, preferring to focus on growing her pastry chef business.

When Cherisse’s younger sister reveals she’s getting married in a few months, Cherisse hopes that will distract her mother enough to quit harassing her about finding a guy, settling down and having kids. But her mother’s matchmaking keeps intensifying.

Cherisse tries to humour her mother, hoping if she feigns interest in the eligible bachelors she keeps tossing her way, she’ll be off the hook, but things don’t quite go as planned. Turns out for the first time in ages, she and Keiran King, the most annoying man ever, are on the island at the same time. Avoiding him is impossible, especially when Keiran’s close friend is the one marrying her sister, and he’s the best man to her maid of honour.

Keiran doesn’t know what to make of Cherisse now. They’ve always butted heads. To him she’s always been a stuck-up brat who seeks attention, even while he secretly harbored a crush on her. Now with Cherisse’s sister marrying one of his good friends he can’t escape her as the wedding activities keep throwing them together.

When things turn heated after a rainy night of bedroom fun, they both have to figure out if they can survive the countdown to wedding day, without this turning into a recipe for disaster.

Excerpt

Cherisse refused to look. But even with her back turned, she knew Keiran had come up behind her. He just exuded this ‘I’m here to ruin your day’ vibe. She refused to allow him to do just that, especially already being on edge at possibly seeing Sean.

“Keiran.” Remi’s voice lost all its warmth. She’d joked about him earlier, but right now, her tone could freeze the entire room and its guests. Cherisse could always count on her to go into protective bestie mode.

“Wow.” Reba’s was filled with awe and amusement.

Cherisse considered keeping her back to him forever. Almost said fuck it, but she had to be the effervescent Sugar Queen they all knew her to be. The pressure to keep up appearances was real and fucking exhausting. Always needing to be “on” because of those damn bills. Adulting was the ultimate scam. She wouldn’t let Keiran make her act a fool. She pasted on her best smile and turned to face one of the two men she would trip down the stairs and feel no regrets.

Reba’s “Wow” had been an understatement.

He was wearing a suit. She’d never seen Keiran in a suit. Ever. Had known she would see him in one for the wedding but hadn’t even lingered on the thought. Why would she? She didn’t care what he wore, only that his presence would annoy her. But now, he was in this suit, and Cherisse stared, blatantly drinking in the fit of his blue suit jacket on those broad shoulders, the cut of his pants on his trim waist. He had his jacket unbuttoned, and there were a few buttons undone on his white shirt as well, assaulting her eyes with a sliver of brown chest. Cherisse was attacked by a too-vivid image of her pressing her hand to his shirt, right above the waistband of his pants to test what lay beneath all that fabric. She’d been drinking him in, eyes taking it all in, from his shiny brown shoes right up to that bit of exposed skin, and when she finally got to his face, he was smirking, as if he knew just what wayward thoughts floated through her head.

Holy. Shit. This was the moment she hated Keiran King more than ever. Because he was too much in that suit. His goatee was perfectly trimmed. It framed those quirked lips perfectly. His smile was dangerous. She moved past it to the rest of his face. Those deep-brown eyes never left her face and brimmed with amusement. His hair was low, brushed down into black waves, the edges marked to precision.

She wanted to topple one of the dessert towers on him. Mess up that damn suit. Anything to ruin the picture of contained sexiness he gave off as he stood there.
“We match,” he said, annoying smile growing wider.

Cherisse said nothing, refusing to acknowledge that they did indeed have on the same shade of blue. What were the fucking odds? And who gave him the right to walk around an event like this with that much chest exposed?

Sweethand is the first book in the Island Bites series and it comes out on March 30, 2021. Make sure to add it to your to-be-bought lists or enter our giveaway below and we’ll buy you a copy. Either way, this book looks too cute to miss out on and that excerpt is fantastic! I can’t wait to meet Cherisse and Keiran.

Island Bites

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: March 2021

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

About N.G. Peltier

N.G. Peltier is an anime watching, book reading, video-game playing, story writing kinda girl.

A devourer of words and books from a young age, she enjoys writing romance and creeping people out with the Caribbean folklore stories she grew up hearing.

A Trinidadian born and raised, she currently lives in Trinidad with her mountain of ideas and characters battling each other for whose story get told next.

She is represented by Lauren Abramo of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLC


Tagged: , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Dream Chaser by Kristen Ashley

Posted December 20, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Dream Chaser by Kristen AshleyDream Chaser by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Team #2
Also in this series: Quiet Man, Dream Maker, Dream Chaser
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating First & Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

In this steamy, addictive contemporary romance spinning off the New York Times bestselling Dream Man and Rock Chick series, Ryn Jansen must put her trust in the one man she wants -- and the one man she can't let herself have.
Ryn Jansen has no interest in taking a risk on Boone Sadler. Thanks to a long list of men who've done nothing but let her down, Ryn vows to stay far away from the caring, protective commando. And when Boone confronts Ryn with evidence that her loved ones are conning her, Ryn is less than thrilled -- with her family and Boone. But even as Boone proves he's the kind of guy to meet her every need, she doesn't trust him to stay when life gets hard . . .
Boone Sadler's never been one to back down from a challenge. He's determined to show the funny, sexy Ryn that the irresistible connection between them is worth exploring. But caring for Ryn's heart and body becomes a matter of life and death when Ryn's beloved niece and nephew are put in danger and dirty cops begin gunning for Ryn. Soon Boone realizes their romance is in danger of more than heartbreak -- and to have any future together, they'll have to put their trust in each other.

Excerpt

“Choice taste in music, sweetheart,” he murmured.

“Wh-what?” I forced out.

“ ‘You’ve Got the Love.’ Never gave any time to considering what song would cover my ice cream-cones-in-the-park montage. But that one’s spot on.”

Was he still inside me after our first time and . . .Teasing me?

“Do you ice skate?” I asked.

“Pennsylvania is no Minnesota, but we were no slouches in the hockey stakes.”

“Hockey?”

“Got my ass kicked a lot when I was a scrawny fucker.

So when I filled out and got back on the ice, felt damn good knocking those guys on their asses.”

I smiled up at him.

He smiled back.

Then I noted, “I think we did great with this going-slow thing. What is it? We waited a whole day and a half before going at it? We rock.”

He chuckled at that, it was ridiculously awesome to see it at the same time feel it, but it faded, and he let my wrists go so he could catch my face in both his hands.

“Don’t let me fuck this up,” he whispered, for some reason, his eyes directed to my mouth.

“Don’t let me fuck it up,” I whispered back.

His gaze rose to mine.

“Deal.”

Dream Team

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.
Sunday Spotlight: December 2020

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

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.


Tagged: , , ,

Guest Review: Dream Chaser by Kristen Ashley

Posted December 14, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Dream Chaser by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Tracy
Dream Chaser by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Team #2
Also in this series: Quiet Man, Dream Maker
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating first and third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In this steamy, addictive contemporary romance spinning off the New York Times bestselling Dream Man and Rock Chick series, Ryn Jansen must put her trust in the one man she wants -- and the one man she can't let herself have.

Ryn Jansen has no interest in taking a risk on Boone Sadler. Thanks to a long list of men who've done nothing but let her down, Ryn vows to stay far away from the caring, protective commando. And when Boone confronts Ryn with evidence that her loved ones are conning her, Ryn is less than thrilled -- with her family and Boone. But even as Boone proves he's the kind of guy to meet her every need, she doesn't trust him to stay when life gets hard . . .

Boone Sadler's never been one to back down from a challenge. He's determined to show the funny, sexy Ryn that the irresistible connection between them is worth exploring. But caring for Ryn's heart and body becomes a matter of life and death when Ryn's beloved niece and nephew are put in danger and dirty cops begin gunning for Ryn. Soon Boone realizes their romance is in danger of more than heartbreak -- and to have any future together, they'll have to put their trust in each other.

Ryn is a stripper who wants to flip houses.  She bought a house to flip, but her resources have been going towards keeping her sister-in-law and her niece and nephew afloat.  Her brother is an alcoholic and being a single mother is hard for her sister-in-law, Angelica.  Angelica is fragile and has headaches so Ryn takes care of the kids a lot – takes them to school, etc.

When Boone takes it upon himself to do a little investigating into Angelica (because he likes Ryn and doesn’t want her taken advantage of) he finds some stuff that’s not so great.  Ryn is pissed that Boone looked into her life, but even more pissed about what he finds out about Angelica.  When confronted, Angelica tries to deny it, but Boone has pictures/proof.  Thinking to punish Ryn, Angelica cuts Ryn out of the kids’ lives.  When Ryn talks to her brother about it, he takes Angelica’s side and agrees with Ryn staying away from the kids she loves.

Ryn is hurt, but Boone is there to comfort her.  When she is pseudo-kidnapped, he is beside himself.  When there’s a murder and Ryn’s life is in danger, Boone steps up and takes charge.  Since he’s a dom in the bedroom and Ryn’s submissive he thinks this is A-OK, but Ryn’s only submissive in the bedroom, not everywhere else.  Boone and Ryn have a lot to work out if they are to make a relationship work between them.  Ryn has been hurt by the men in her life so taking a chance on  Boone is a huge step – one that she hopes she won’t regret.

This is book two in the Dream Team series.  While this wasn’t a bad story, I didn’t care for it as much as I did book one.  When I first saw that it was BDSM I was put off, but kept reading.  It was really BDSM-light in every way.  Nothing too crazy at all and that was fine.  What bothered me was that there was So. Much. Talking.  My God it just went on and on.  Not a lot happened in the middle of the book and it dragged. I liked the first 25% and the last 15% a lot, but that wasn’t even enough to save the book for me and give it a higher rating.

I liked Boone and Ryn together – and liked Ryn a lot on her own. Boone, by himself, wasn’t my favorite person.  He was like a freight train that ran over Ryn and once he was with her it was fine, but meh, I didn’t love him.  He pulled a stunt once they were together that bothered me a lot, and he never really recovered from that in my mind – despite him trying to talk his way out of it.  It was petty and immature and it pissed me off.

So, while this was a decent read – and I loved the kids in it (should have been in there more, imho) it wasn’t fantastic.  I’m glad I read it for the continuity of the story ARC, but did I love it, no.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Dream Team

As an aside let me say I am loving these retro book covers.  They totally remind me of 70’s/80′ cop shows and I find them very cool.

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes

Posted November 9, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Tracy
The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes
Series: Rogues to Riches #5
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A new duke and a woman with a secret in her past get a second chance at love in this delightful and charming Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the Windham series.

Robert Rothmere is hiding a past no duke should have endured, but he's not hiding it well enough. Sooner or later, his enemies will learn that he spent years locked away at a private asylum. To get their hands on his wealth, they'll try to send him right back to his worst nightmares. If Robert is to foil their schemes, he needs to marry a perfectly proper, blessedly boring, deadly dull duchess, immediately—and he knows exactly which quietly delightful lady he'd love to entrust with that role.

Lady Constance Wentworth has cultivated a reputation for utter forgettability. She never speaks out of turn (in public), never has a daring thought (that she admits aloud), and never comes close to courting scandal... as far as anybody knows. Her path crossed Robert's years ago, though, and she's never forgotten the extraordinary lengths he traveled to keep her safe when she hadn't a friend in the world. She longs to be his demure duchess...but little does he know that to marry her would be utter madness.

Constance is shocked when she sees Robert Rothmere at a ball.  She tries to avoid him, but he waylays her, and they walk in the garden.  What Constance thought would be incredibly awkward was, in fact, quite nice.  Constance had known Robert when he was a patient in an asylum.  He isn’t insane, he is epileptic. The “asylum” was actually a place that Robert’s father had stowed him away and a horrible doctor had been experimenting on him.

Constance’s sister and Robert’s brother are in love and engaged to be married.  This brings Constance and Robert together more and more and they find themselves falling in love.  The road to happiness, however, will be a rough road.  Constance has a secret she doesn’t want to share with Robert but must in order to be completely honest with him.  Robert could possibly be seen as unfit to run a dukedom and put under a guardianship.  They will both try as hard as they can to avoid this happening.  With Robert’s brother and Constance’s family and friends they will try to overcome all the obstacles in their way to a bright future.

This was definitely a romance, but I felt that most of the book was taken up with Constance’s secret and Robert and his epilepsy.  That was actually fine, because it worked in this instance and was well done.  That said, the first part of the book was a bit…I want to say stodgy, but that’s not quite right.  It just didn’t flow the way that I’m used to Burrowes’ books flowing and it was disjointed for me.  The second part was definitely more cohesive, and the story really picked up.

I loved Constance and Robert together.  There wasn’t too much of the typical romance between the two, but the way that Burrowes portrayed their love throughout the book was definitely sigh-worthy.  She did a great job showing us how much in love these two characters were.

The secondary characters definitely need to be mentioned as they were an integral part of the story.  I loved how Burrowes took the “it takes a village” saying and ran with it – even though these were adults.  It showed the love and care that the two families had for their siblings and I loved that.

Overall a good read. I haven’t read the previous four books in this series but didn’t feel that not doing so detracted from this story in any way.

Rating:  3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,