Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

Posted July 31, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena ShowalterThe Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld, #13) by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #13
Also in this series: The Darkest Torment
Published by Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
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New York Times
bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance

Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn't allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him - until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they've forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever

Cameo has longed for happiness, but knew it was out of her reach. She doesn’t remember details of her short time with Lazarus, but she knows it was special. Cameo is the keeper of the demon Misery and her demon doesn’t let her have a moment of happiness. Once she feels even a second of happiness, she forgets. Over the centuries, she hasn’t just forgotten the good things, she’s forgotten the bad. That devastates Cameo.

Though she loves her family, she knows it’s time to go her own way. She decides to make her way to Lazarus to get answers. She gets them as soon as she seems him. They had something. Something good. Something that was even great.

Lazarus is shocked to find Cameo in his kingdom. He’s even more shocked that she doesn’t remember him. He also surprised to realize that Cameo is his mate. Which isn’t a good thing. When the men in his family find their mates, their veins start to crystalize rendering them, well, statues. As much as Lazarus wants Cameo, he is not willing to give up his revenge for her. And oh does he have plans for revenge.

Cameo has no idea the impact she is having on Lazarus. All he is trying to do is seduce her. She’s having a hard time saying no. The only thing that is holding her back is that he barely seems to like her. It would help his efforts if he showed some sort of affection for her. As it stands, he seems to hardly tolerate her, only wanting her physically.

I loved this book, I hated the ending. I was really disappointed because up until the end, I was really enjoying the book. It’s the first book I read since May and I really couldn’t put it down. I adored Lazarus. After two thousand years of wanting revenge, he gave up everything for Cameo. Even his life.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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Review: Run the Risk by Lori Foster

Posted October 29, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Run the Risk by Lori FosterReviewer: Rowena
Run the Risk (Love Undercover, #1) by Lori Foster
Series: Love Undercover #1
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: September 25th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 379
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four-stars

When Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find Pepper Yates, a potential link to his best friend's unsolved murder, he vows to gain her cooperation by any means necessary. But the elusive beauty is more suspicious—and in far more danger—than he expected. And the last thing Logan needs is to start caring for her….

Pepper has spent years dodging the corrupt club owner who will stop at nothing to keep her silenced. She can trust no one, not even the handsome new "construction worker" who's moved in next door. The heat between them is undeniable. But will surrendering to passion bring her the safety she so desires—or will her feelings for Logan draw them both into a killer's crosshairs?

This is the first book in Lori Foster’s new Love Undercover series. I haven’t read anything by Lori Foster (at least that I can remember) and I went into this book, not knowing what to expect. Another thing that I noticed while I was reading this book is that it’s been quite a while since I’ve read a straight up romantic suspense. It was a nice change of pace from what I’ve been reading lately.

This book follows Detective Logan Riske as he goes undercover to find Pepper Yates. Pepper got herself mixed up in some business that is linked to Logan’s best friends murder and he wants information…bad. He wants it so bad that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get it. It’s understandable since he’s investigating his best friend’s murder but when he finds her and things start getting messy, my enjoyment of the story started getting messy too.

The relationship between Pepper and her brother was one that I found very interesting in this book. There’s a lot more to her brother than meets the eye and I found myself wondering if he really was the loser everyone seemed to think.

Logan and Pepper don’t want the feelings that kept cropping up every time they were thrown together but sometimes, you just can’t help it. At times, I felt like their romance took a back seat to all of the other things going on in this book and I was a bit bummed about that but what surprised me was that Logan’s methods to gain Pepper’s cooperation with his investigation didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.  I was so wrapped up in other things that his actions took a back seat to it? I’m not sure, I only know that Logan is yummy.  Logan and Pepper weren’t perfect characters and I liked that. I find myself curious about the other books in this series and will more than likely give them a go once they’re out.  This book was full of surprises and I liked that.

I thought this was a good book to start my journey into the writings of Lori Foster. There’s a fast paced story with characters that came alive on the pages and even though I was antsy to find out what was going to happen, I enjoyed the reading experience. I’m not at all mad that I read this one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from HQN Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

four-stars


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Review: Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl

Posted September 17, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Close Enough to Touch by Victoria DahlReviewer: Rowena
Close Enough to Touch (Jackson, #1) by Victoria Dahl
Series: Jackson #1
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: August 28th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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two-stars

Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West?

For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood isn't the land of golden opportunity. It's the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she'll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting....

Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can't help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. He wants to get close enough to Grace to see past her tough facade, but if he does, she might see the real Cole. The one with a Hollywood history gone bad. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it becomes harder for him to keep his demons at bay-and those fires from long ago may burn them both.

They'll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.

This book follows Grace Barrett as she leaves Hollywood behind for Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She’s broke, owes her ex money and needs a place to stay until the job up in Vancouver opens up in five weeks. With her only family member in a nursing home, Grace heads up to Wyoming where a free apartment opened up from an aunt she hasn’t seen in years but remembers as a meanie from when she was little. Her grandmother called in a favor and Grace is set for the next five weeks. She just needs to get a job and then she’ll really be set.

The apartment that she’ll be staying at is known around town as the Stud Farm. It’s been dubbed the Stud Farm because the crazy lady that owns the place only lets hot guys live there. The crazy lady just happens to be Grace’s Aunt.

So the story revolves around the romance that blossoms between Grace and her next door neighbor Cole Rawlins. Grace’s plan is to stay here, make some money to pay her ex back and then move to Vancouver as soon as she can. She wasn’t planning on getting close to her hot next door neighbor and she wasn’t planning on staying in Jackson Hole either.

Cole is a cowboy on the injured list. He broke his hip and is going through physical therapy right now to find out if he’ll ever be able to ride a horse again. His future plans included buying the ranch that he’s working on now to make his father proud of him. Being a cowboy is all he’s been and he’s been working his butt off to buy this ranch. If he can’t ride a horse than he won’t be any good as a ranch owner. Being out of work until he gets better leaves him with a lot of time on his hands and being attracted to his new neighbor is looking like a good way to keep his mind off of his worries. He has some bad history with the last city girl that he got all starry eyed over so he was determined to leave those city girls to other guys but there’s something about Grace Barrett that gets to him and he can’t help himself, he has to get closer to her.

I really wanted to like this book but there were too many little things that got on my nerves so much that it was too easy for me to put it down. It took me too long to read this book because I kept getting annoyed with Grace and then with Cole that I almost DNF’d it. I wasn’t a fan of Grace’s attitude when she came into town. She was annoying in that, I’m independent and I don’t need or want help from anyone when really? She needed some damn help. I also wasn’t a fan of the way that they both handled their relationship toward the end. They over hear things, they explode on each other and then both feel like idiots because they assumed things about the other. And then they repeated their mistakes. It got old and when the past catches up with Grace? The way that she handled that business made me want to smack the crap out of her. All the way up to the very end, both Cole and Grace got on my nerves so my enjoyment of the book as a whole suffered for it.

I’m sure there are a lot of other people who would enjoy this book because it wasn’t badly written or anything but my enjoyment suffered because the main couple got on my hot damn nerves a lot. I did enjoy getting to know the other characters in the book. I enjoyed Easy, Aunt Raylene and the friends that Grace made in Jackson Hole. But for every good thing that I enjoyed, there was something that I didn’t enjoy. Like the whole deal with Madeline in the end, all of the assuming on both Cole and Grace’s part and the distrust that was evident on both of their ends throughout the entire book. Right from the very beginning, I knew what was going to happen, how everything was going to pan out and I wasn’t wrong. This isn’t my favorite book by Dahl but I know that it won’t be my last book either.

Grade: 2 out of 5

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

two-stars


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Review: Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller

Posted August 9, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael MillerReviewer: Rowena
Big Sky Mountain (Parable, Montana, #2) by Linda Lael Miller
Series: Parable Montana #2
Published by Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: July 31st 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Westerns
Pages: 384
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three-stars

With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he's done some growing up—making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can't buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcée Kendra Shepherd.

Kendra's quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most—a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can't get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky.

Before I get into my review, can I just say that Hutch Carmody as seen on the cover of this book is freaking delicious? I want to eat him up! I’ve cut back on the amount of cowboy books that I read because the last few books that I tried just weren’t that memorable. They didn’t grab me the way that other cowboy books have, that made me want to devour all things western but this book ended up being a good read. I’m glad that I read it.

This is the second book in the Parable, Montana series by Linda Lael Miller. I’m thinking that I should have read the first book first because far too often, throughout this book, I felt like I was missing something. More than once, I was thrown out of the story because something was mentioned and I thought, “I should have read the first book” but even with those few instances, I enjoyed Hutch and Kendra’s story.

Hutch and Kendra have a history. This is a story of second chances and Kendra was real wary of giving Hutch a second chance because she didn’t think she’s survive another heartbreak. They used to be together but broke up and Kendra ended up marrying an unfaithful lout and Hutch almost married someone else. The story starts off when Hutch calls his wedding off…on his wedding day. His almost bride, Brylee is steaming mad and her friends start up a Down with Hutch website and he becomes the town villain. Even with everyone mad at him, Hutch doesn’t regret stopping the wedding. He knew that it wasn’t right and over the course of the book, you see just how right he was.

Kendra is now single with a young daughter in tow. Her daughter’s name is Madison and they’re moving out of the big mansion that they live in and are downsizing since it’s just the two of them and their mansion is too much house for two people. Kendra was married to a titled gentleman who had a daughter with someone else and when the mother of his child takes off, Kendra steps in and becomes young Madison’s Mom. Kendra has a big heart and that big heart is scared to let Hutch Carmody back into her life because it’s not just her anymore. She has Madison to think about and she just doesn’t want Hutch to storm into their lives if he wasn’t going to stick around.

I really enjoyed getting to know both Hutch and Kendra. To be honest, I enjoyed getting to know Hutch more than Kendra because there were times when I wanted to punch Kendra’s lights out for always assuming things but in the end, I came to like Kendra a lot and admired the way that she was with Madison. Madison was lucky to have Kendra in her life and when Hutch comes along, he completes the picture and I really liked seeing the three of them together.

I am completely curious about Boone and am hoping against hope that his book is next. I just know that him and Tara will end up together and I’d love to read about him getting that stick out of his ass and bring his boys home, where they belong. I’d like to get to know Boone’s boys better and to meet his sister and her husband who are taking care of his boys. I think I’d enjoy seeing Boone come into his own and get over himself. I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m also wondering if Walker will get his own book in this series as well because I would totally love to read that book. His little storyline with Casey could be a good one, especially since he has two kids with her and they’re not even together. There’s a story there and I’m all about reading it.

Overall, this book was a good, solid book but there were times when the story dragged. It took me a few days to get past the first few chapters because I kept waiting for something to happen already but as I got deeper and deeper into the book, I grew comfortable in the world that Miller created for these characters and in the end, I was glad that I stuck with it. It was good.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-stars


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