Publisher: Harlequin

Throwback Thursday Review: Do You Take This Cop by Beth Andrews

Posted January 7, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Do You Take This Cop by Beth AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Do You Take This Cop? by Beth Andrews
Series: Serenity Springs #4
Also in this series: A Not-So-Perfect Past
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: May 1st 2010
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 256
Add It: Goodreads
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one-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

Without the badge, he'd be perfect!

The last thing Faith Lewis needs is a cop poking his nose in her business. Okay, yes, Nick Coletti is gorgeous. And charming. And great with her son. But dating the town's most popular boy in blue is hardly going to help her keep a low profile. This guy could blow their world apart if he discovers her secret.

Funny thing is, he may also be her only hope. If she had someone like Nick on her side, maybe she could finally be free, and give her son the life he deserves. But trusting Nick means telling the whole truth about her past. He might protect them. Or he just might turn her in….

This review was originally published on September 9, 2010

I’ve read novels by Andrews before and enjoyed them, but this one fell far off the mark for me.

I was liking the heroine of this book until she decided to manipulate the hero into caring for her because she needs protection. She’s on the run from an abusive husband and wants to settle herself and her son somewhere. I can understand that. But why not just tell him the truth and ask for help? You really think leading him on and lying is going to help your cause? The good news is that the hero is onto her. He knows she’s playing a game, he just isn’t sure what it is. Which is the whole reason I kept reading.

She also played the “let’s pretend everything is okay and it will be” game a little too often for me. Pretending a problem doesn’t exist doesn’t make it go away. She was the type to stick her fingers in her ears and say ‘la la la la la la’. Her son greatly suffered because she refused to deal with her issues. Had it just been her, I might have been able to overlook this. Her son deserved better, though.

This brings me to the next thing that I didn’t like about her, her skills as a mother. She expected her son to be perfect. He wasn’t allowed to make messes or play outside or be loud or..talk, even. Everything he did she scolded him for it. I can understand wanting your kids to behave, but she expected way too much from him.

I kept reading because of the hero. He was strong, caring, and compassionate. He genuinely liked Faith and wanted to get to know her better. I thought it was sweet how he acted with her son. He really worked for me all the way up until the end. That’s when he stopped acting like a cop and started acting like a jerk who’d been scorned by a woman. It was so frustrating! He was the only reason I kept reading, and then he totally ruined it the last 1/8 of the book.

Up until that point he knew Faith was hiding a secret but wanted to let her work out telling him on her own. I can respect that. But when he shows up at her place to find her packing and realizes she knocked someone out and HID THE BODY, but does nothing about it, my head (almost) exploded.

Had the hero not turned TSTL at the end, I probably wouldn’t have disliked this book so much. As it stands, I can’t find much to recommend it.

1.5 out of 5 (the .5 is for the hero during the first half of the story and the kid. I liked him.)

Serenity Springs

one-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Wife He Needs by Brenda Jackson

Posted December 6, 2020 by Holly 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: The Wife He Needs by Brenda JacksonThe Wife He Needs by Brenda Jackson
Series: The Outlaws #1
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publication Date: December 15, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads
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Will this billionaire bachelor say “I do” to love? Find out, only from
New York Times
bestselling author Brenda Jackson!


He desires her more than any other woman.

But falling in love isn’t part of the plan.

The arrangement is simple: a two-week getaway, then a marriage of convenience. Until Garth Outlaw’s potential bride is a no-show. Now family pilot Regan Fairchild is sharing his bed—and he can’t get enough…even though he’s vowed never to love again. Can Regan convince him the wife he needs and the woman he desires are one and the same?
From Harlequin Desire: Luxury, scandal, desire—welcome to the lives of the American elite.
Westmoreland Legacy: The Outlaws
Book 1: The Wife He Needs




Excerpt

THE WIFE HE NEEDS by Brenda Jackson Excerpt

“So, when is the wedding, Garth?”

Garth Outlaw raised his eyes from studying his cards. Was his brother playing mind games to mess with his concentration?

“And just what wedding are you talking about?”

Garth glanced around the table and saw the smirks on the faces of all four of his brothers. Even Jess had made a trip home from the nation’s capital for a week long visit.

“Is anyone going to answer?” Garth asked.

Jess grinned as he threw out a card. “I heard it from Dad the moment I walked through the door. He claims you’ve gotten over Karen Piccard, decided to settle down and do whatever needs to be done for the benefit of the company, which includes getting a wife and making babies to guarantee the Outlaw dynasty. Those were his words, not mine.”

“We heard the same thing,” Cash said, with Sloan and Maverick nodding in agreement.

Garth didn’t say anything. Being the oldest son of Bartram “Bart” Outlaw wasn’t easy, especially when his father liked spreading information that wasn’t true. However, in this case, it was. At least partly. He was planning to do what needed to be done for the company. But he seriously doubted he would ever get over Karen. She would always have his heart.

“No wedding date has been set because I haven’t chosen a bride.”

His brother Cash sat up straight in his chair. “Are you really thinking about settling down with a wife and making babies?” he asked, as if the thought of doing such a thing was as unheard of as living in outer space.

Garth threw out some chips. “Why not? I don’t see any of you guys rushing to the altar to continue the Outlaw legacy. Not even you, Jess, and you’re the politician in the family. You of all people should be thinking about acquiring a wife.” A couple of years ago, Jess had gotten elected as a senator from Alaska.

A grin touched Jess’s lips. “No, thank you. I’m not ready to fall in love.”

Garth shrugged. “Who said anything about falling in love?”

“You’re thinking of marrying a woman you don’t love?” This question came from Sloan.

“For me there’s no other way.”

There was no reason to explain what he meant. They knew.

“And you’ll do it because Bart says it needs to be done?”

Garth rolled his eyes at his youngest brother, Maverick, who’d been quiet up to now. “No, I’ll consider doing it because I think it’s about time I settled down. I’m thirty-eight, and dating gets old.”

“Speak for yourself,” Maverick said, grinning. “I happen to enjoy dating a lot of women.”

Garth shook his head. “And Walker got me thinking. Look how long he was a loner before he got married. If he can do it, then anyone can.”

Walker Rafferty was Garth’s best friend. A couple of years ago, Walker had met his current wife and now they were parents to twins, a boy and a girl they’d named Walker and Westlyn. Nobody thought Walker would ever remarry after losing his first wife and son in a car accident. Surprisingly, ten years later, Walker had fallen in love again. Garth was happy for Walker, and inspired to settle down, but honestly, he couldn’t see himself falling in love. He was convinced Karen was the only woman he was meant to love.

Westmoreland Legacy: The Outlaws

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 Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson Author Photo

Brenda Jackson, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over 100 novels and novellas, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. She married her high school sweetheart, Gerald, and they have two sons, Gerald Jr. and Brandon, ages thirty-six and thirty-four, respectively. She is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her professional writing career began in 1995 with the release of her first book, Tonight and Forever. Since then she has written over 100 titles, which includes a made-for-television movie by BET, One Special Moment as well as the movie, Truly Everlasting. She was a 2012 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Fiction for her book, A Silken Thread; and was named Romance Writers of Americas Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2012.


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Guest Review: A Marquis in Want of a Wife by Louise Allen

Posted December 2, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Marquis in Want of a Wife by Louise AllenReviewer: Tracy
A Marquis In Want Of A Wife by Louise Allen
Series: Liberated Ladies #3
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A Marquis scarred by life, a lady in distress and a baby without a mother

Miss Prudence Scott has been most imprudent and now she’s facing ruin. Ross Vincent, privateer and reluctant Marquis of Cranford, is scarred by life in both body and soul. But there is one thing he knows he needs – a mother for his baby son.

It should have been a passionless marriage of mutual convenience but physical attraction flares and then, for Prue, a love she dare not admit for the hard, ruthless man she is married to.

When Ross, caught up in the battle of Waterloo, forgets his promise to keep out of danger for the sake of his family Prue has to make the hardest choice of her life between the child she has come to treasure as her own or the life of the husband who does not want her love.

Prudence believed herself in love with a man and slept with him.  He then informed her that she was just a bet between him and his friends.  Hurt and not knowing if she’s pregnant, Prue asks her friends for advice.  One of her friends knows of a man who is in want of a mother for his baby son.

Ross is a man who was raised in the east end of London and became a privateer.  Since inheriting the title he has given up privateering and now uses his ships for trade. Though he is a marquis, he is looked down upon for not only his upbringing, but the fact that he works – oh the horror!  He is also scarred and only six months a widower so women aren’t clamoring to be his bride.

Prue and Ross make an agreement that they will get married and it will be a marriage of convenience.  He has no desire to have a relationship and no desire for sex.  Of course, once they are married, they find that they desire each other.

This was a lovely little romance. I really liked both Ross and Prue and liked them together as a couple as well.  Ross tried everything he could to stay away from Prue because of course emotions make you stupid and reckless insert eye roll, but he never quite managed to stay completely unemotional with Prue. I loved that she could bring out emotion in him, whether it was desire, frustration or anger.

The baby, Jon, was absolutely a highlight in this book.  He was such a good-natured boy and I loved it when he was on-page.  There was a part of that has to do with Jon and his maternal grandparents that I thought was quite well and I appreciated that the author didn’t blow this up more than it was.

Overall a quick read and a satisfying historical romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: A Reunion of Rivals by Reese Ryan

Posted November 8, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 1 Comment

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: A Reunion of Rivals by Reese RyanA Reunion of Rivals by Reese Ryan
Series: The Bourbon Brothers #4
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publication Date: June 11, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 173
Add It: Goodreads
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Sparks in the boardroom

and the bedroom…

She can’t let anything derail her passion project,

Not even a second chance with the sexiest man alive…

The deal that could bring Quinn Bazemore’s career back from the brink has one catch: she must partner up with her ex-lover Max Abbott. Quinn can’t forget the pleasure-filled summer they shared. But now she’s butting heads over business strategy with the mouthwatering marketing VP, even as their reawakened desire threatens to expose her deepest secrets…

Excerpt

Excerpt, A REUNION OF RIVALS by Reese Ryan

“Morning, Max.” A wide smile spread across Dixon Bazemore’s face as they both rose to their feet and shook hands. The old man had been the owner of Bazemore Orchards longer than Max had been alive. “Good to see you, young man.”

“You, too, Mr. B.” Molly’s instincts about the reason for the meeting had been right. Why else would Dixon Bazemore be here? Still, he asked, “What brings you to see us today?”

“We’ll go over everything during the meeting,” Max’s father interjected. “We’re waiting for one more person.”

Max glanced around the table. All of the members of the executive committee were present. His grand-father and father. His brothers Blake and Parker, the operations VP and CFO, respectively. Blake’s wife, Savannah—the company’s events manager. Zora, him and his father’s admin, Lianna, who was there to take notes.

“Who are we—”

“I’m sorry. I got a little turned around finding my way back here from the parking lot. But I’ve got your portfolio, Grandad.”

Max snapped his attention in the direction of the familiar voice. He hadn’t heard it in more than a dcade, but he would never, ever forget it. His mouth went dry, and his heart thudded so loudly he was sure his sister could hear it.

“Peaches?” He scanned the brown eyes that stared back at him through narrowed slits.

“Quinn.” She was gorgeous, despite the slightly irritated flare of her nostrils and the stiff smile that barely revealed her dimples.

“Hello, Max.”

The good to see you was notably absent. But what should he expect? It was his fault they hadn’t parted on the best of terms.
Quinn settled into the empty seat beside her grandfather. She handed the old man a worn leather portfolio, then squeezed his arm. The genuine smile that lit her brown eyes and activated those killer dimples was firmly in place again.

Max had been the cause of that magnificent smile nearly every day that summer between his junior and senior years of college when he’d interned at Bazemore Orchards.

The Bourbon Brothers

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: November 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 Reese Ryan

Reese Ryan Author Photo

Reese Ryan is the author of eight published works of romantic fiction, with five more hitting shelves in 2018. Her stories feature complex, deliciously-flawed characters. She presents her characters with family and career drama, challenging love interests, and life-changing secrets while treating readers to an emotional love story with unexpected twists.

Past president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter and a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Reese is an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction.


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Guest Review: Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin

Posted November 2, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri BrisbinReviewer: Tracy
Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin
Series: Sons of Sigurd #5
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Publication Date: November 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


USA TODAY
Bestselling Author
“What do I get if I help you?”

“Whatever I have to give…”

The only person who can help Katla flee a violent marriage is the Viking in her father’s dungeon, the strong and honorable Brandt Sigurdsson. Except Brandt is hungry to see justice done for his family’s destruction, the final vengeance on behalf of all the sons of Sigurd. Is there any persuasion she can offer that will free them both to live—and love—together?
From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.
Sons of Sigurd

Driven by revenge, redeemed by love
Book 1: Stolen by the Viking by Michelle Willingham
Book 2: Falling for Her Viking Captive by Harper St. George
Book 3: Conveniently Wed to the Viking by Michelle Styles
Book 4: Redeeming Her Viking Warrior by Jenni Fletcher
Book 5: Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin

Katla Thorfinnsdottir is the oldest daughter of a Pict woman and a Norse man.  Her father has promised her in marriage to a horrible man and Katla is devastated.  She is a widow from her first marriage and doesn’t want to marry another ogre.

Brandt shows up at the Pict stronghold to kill Katla’s father, Thorfinn Bjornsson.  He wants revenge as he believes that Thorfinn is responsible for the raid on his Norse village that ended up killing his father, Brandt’s pregnant wife, and the crown taking their titles and their land.  They fight, but eventually Brandt is wounded and taken prisoner.  Katla is the castle’s healer and is ordered by her father to save Brandt.  As he’s healing, Katla gets to know Brandt and stats to like him a great deal.  She asks him to help her and her younger sister escape from the castle and Brandt agrees, but not before he gets his revenge.  Brandt is leery of Katla at first but soon finds himself falling in love with her.

Brandt tells Katla the story of his village and Katla discusses some weird happenings that are taking place in the castle.  Between the two of them they solve the mystery of what’s going on, but that doesn’t help Brandt who is still a prisoner. They make a plan, but they’re not sure if they can execute it without, well, getting executed.

This was a decent read.  I liked Katla but felt bad for her for the life she’d had after her mother died and her father had gotten remarried. She came back home after her husband died with the intent of staying at the castle for the rest of her life.  In the Pict lands the right of inheritance is through the women.  For the Norse, the right of inheritance goes through the male line.  Her father marrying her off again was something she certainly didn’t want.  She’d been abused by her first husband and didn’t want to have to deal with that again.  Unfortunately, her father wasn’t listening, because of his new wife and her machinations.

Brandt was a good character, but he didn’t have much depth.  He was so focused on revenge that we didn’t get to know a whole lot about him or his background. I certainly liked him with Katla,and loved that he could love her despite his hate for her father.  Katla was kind and giving and I loved her determination in getting the heck out of Dodge.

The story did have a ton of introspection as the characters were trying to figure out their lives, and the mystery that entwined the two of them, and that slowed things down a bit for me.  Despite that I enjoyed the story and recommend it if you like a good Viking story. This is the 5th book in the Sons of Sigurd series – all the books are written by different authors.  I didn’t read any of the books in the series besides this one but didn’t feel that I needed to do so in order to figure out what was going on in this one.  I obviously can’t say if that applies for all the books in the series, but for this one, it worked.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

three-half-stars


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