Publisher: Kensington

Throwback Thursday Review: Hunting Julian by Jacquelyn Frank

Posted March 1, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Hunting Julian by Jacquelyn FrankReviewer: Holly
Hunting Julian (Gatherers, #1) by Jacquelyn Frank
Series: Gatherers #1
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: January 1st 2010
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 332
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

As an Advocate for his colony, Julian Sawyer travels to Earth to bring back the Chosen--women who possess energy potent enough to help revitalize his people. The stunning, silver-clad beauty who strides into his club one night radiates a sensual magnetism unlike any he's encountered, and Julian realizes that Asia Callahan is not just Chosen, she is his kindra: his one true mate.

For months, Asia has tracked the beautiful and mysterious Julian across the country, convinced that he's behind the disappearance of her sister and a dozen other women. She's prepared to believe he's a ruthless killer, but when she presents herself as bait, she discovers that the truth is far more shocking. Taken to a strange, hazardous realm she never knew existed, Asia will face the ultimate choice--between abandoning the life she's always known, and forsaking a passion as dangerous as it is powerful.

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

This book was originally posted on February 16, 2011.

I picked this up on a whim out of my TBR pile. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a sci-fi novel featuring aliens from a different plane of existence. Despite my lukewarm feelings about the premise in the beginning, I admit the story sucked me in the more I read. I enjoyed the world. Frank’s description of Beneath and the creatures that inhabit it were well done. I also enjoyed Julian. Though it was hard to take his actions in the beginning, I think Frank did a fairly credible job of redeeming him.

Asia was harder to take. Although I understood her actions in the beginning (if I’d been kidnapped I image I’d have tried to escape/flout authority, too) they became increasingly hard to excuse away as the novel progressed. Although that isn’t my main issue. My main issue was her insistence that she “wasn’t made for forevers and happily ever afters”. That’s it. That was all the resistance between her and Julian. It wasn’t the fact that she was from Earth and he wasn’t, or that he brought her to his world without her permission, or that his people needed her to feed them energy, all of which I could have understood. Instead it was just “eh, I’m not a HEA type of girl”. She based this on nothing more than the fact that she was jaded and hadn’t ever had a lasting relationship. Considering the amount of resistance she put up, that was a very flimsy excuse.

Beyond that, there were several holes in the plot. The idea that Julian and Asia had to have sex in order to feed his people energy was somewhat outlandish, but so was the rest of the plot, so I could set that aside. It was harder to set aside disbelief over other things, such as the way Julian and Asia constantly fought with each other. That hampered the progress of the romance, so I didn’t find their feelings for each other believable.

I did like that Frank added more depth to the “destined” angle of the plot. Though Julian and Asia were “kindra”, meaning soul-mates, they didn’t immediately fall in love or accept they were meant to be together forever. Well, Julian did, but that’s to be expected since he’d grown up with the knowledge that it might happen. The fact that Asia resisted simply because it was “meant to be” was refreshing when compared to many other novels featuring the same trope.

Having said that, I’m willing to cut the novel a little slack because it’s the first of a new series. I did enjoy the world enough that I plan to read the next entry, Stealing Kathryn.

3.25 out of 5


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Melting Snow by Leora Gonzales

Posted December 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Melting Snow by Leora GonzalesReviewer: Tracy
Melting Snow by Leora Gonzales
Series: Braving the Heat #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: November 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 52
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Broke college student Winter Snow wants Christmas to be over. Thanks to her annoying name, this time of year always leaves her feeling Scrooged. The only cheer she wants is cold hard cash from her mall cleaning job—until a surprise offer from a hunky firefighter sparks one sizzling midnight temptation . . .


William Holiday needs a replacement elf for his fire station’s fund-raiser. Convincing Winter she's perfect for the part—and giving her some one-on-one training—is a task he’s happy to take on. Because her irrepressible smarts and luscious curves are making this seductive Saint Nick want to deliver all night long . . .


Winter isn't betting on more than an X-rated Xmas fling. But Will plans to show her they have more in common than their quirky last names—enough to keep their wildest holiday wishes coming true . . .

At age 27 Winter is finally going to college and working part time jobs to help with tuition and rent.  One of those jobs is cleaning a small mall at night.  While on shift one night she meets a fireman named Will Holiday who will be playing Santa.  His elf breaks her leg and Will sees Winter working and asks her to be his elf.  From that moment on the pair are together.

This short story started off well and I was hoping for a sweet but hot story.  I didn’t get that and I wasn’t impressed with anything about this book.

When Will meets Winter he likes her looks and asks her to be his elf.  When he introduces her to the rest of his fire station (they’re decorating the mall for Santa’s North Pole) he quickly stakes his claim by holding her hand. A little forward for just having met, but okay.  He then asks to drive her home and within hours of meeting they’re sleeping together. Literally sleeping.  What???  I mean, I think I would have understood it better if they’d had sex.  By the next day Will is calling Winter ‘baby’ as if they’ve been together forever and telling her he’s going to marry her someday and they’re talking about kids and – oh holy cow!

Events in this book happen at the speed of light.  There’s no character development, there’s no true getting to know you period, there’s nothing. This was a meet and screw and be together forever.  I just wasn’t buying it.  Some authors know how to pull this off, but this story just didn’t manage to do that.  Because of my skepticism with the relationship I couldn’t get into the sex scenes either and found them boring. I would have rather seen the two actually getting to know each other but maybe that’s just me.

Braving the Heat

Rating: 2 out of 5


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Her Leading Hero by Maggie Dallen

Posted December 10, 2017 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 3 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

Sunday Spotlight: Her Leading Hero by Maggie DallenHer Leading Hero (A Reel Romance) by Maggie Dallen
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Is she getting a second take at her Hollywood ending?
Despite her leading lady looks, Tamara Pierce has always been happiest out of the spotlight, especially since a painful breakup drove her away from her society friends. Now she's happily managing a magnificent, historic old movie house that's in danger of being torn down. It's good news when a billionaire buyer shows interest. If only the billionaire in question weren't Gregory Blanchard, who once fueled her fantasies of happily after ever.

Known for his reckless endeavors in romance and business, Gregory's determined to prove his worth with this new project. And he knows how to do it: making Tamara the public face of the Ellen Theater. She's poised, passionate-the perfect partner on his arm at fundraising events. Once he lures her into the limelight, the shy beauty gets under his skin in a way no woman has before. But will a heartbreaker like him be the one to lead her back to love?

Order the Book:



“Tamara?” His low voice cut through the music and the chatter, stopping her in her tracks.

The original cold fear returned and a shiver raced through her at the sound of his voice.

She turned slowly. There was no escaping it now. Resignation at her fate had her steeling her spine and squaring her shoulders. She had known this day would come eventually.

He was smiling down at her, and the sheer sex appeal behind it stole her breath away. Sweet Jesus, he’d always been hot, even as a teenager. But now, he was literally breathtaking. He’d filled out, his chest and shoulders molding the suit to perfection. His jaw was even more defined, if that was possible. He’d matured into the aristocratic features that had made him seem older as a teenager. Now they made him look like what he was: a whip-smart, highly educated leader in the city. One not to be trifled with by enemies and whose cool elegance made him a favorite match for supermodels and actresses. Last she’d read, he’d been linked to someone famous. Who was it?

What did that matter? A distant voice mocked her for obsessing over his looks and love life at a time like this. But now that the moment she’d feared was finally here, an odd calm came over her. It was almost… Relief.

Maybe that was why she was able to summon a smile when he said her name again. “Tamara Pierce?”

He’d lowered his head a bit and leaned in so they could speak over the noise of the crowd. It was an oddly intimate gesture, like they were part of an exclusive club. She could smell a warm musky cologne as he drew even closer, his eyes fixed on her and filled with warmth.

It was then that his words hit her. Pierce. He’d called her by her mother’s maiden name, the name she’d been using ever since she left Boston.

She blinked up at him as the significance of that one word sank in. “Ms. Pierce,” he continued, apparently not thinking it odd that she was staring at him like a mute idiot. “I’m a friend of Ben’s.” He gestured over his shoulder toward Ben, who was leaning against a wall glaring at the poor man who was speaking to his girlfriend, Caitlyn.

Was it possible Gregory didn’t recognize her? A flicker of hope had her breath quickening and her smile broadening. She looked to Ben—of course, he was a friend of Ben’s, hadn’t Caitlyn told her that? He could be here to support Ben. Or maybe Caitlyn invited him….

Gregory started to speak again, and she turned her attention back to him. She instantly wished she hadn’t done that. His eyes were unnerving. His gaze was too direct. Too intense. Too…sexy.

“He told me you were the expert here,” he said. A smile hovered on his lips as he shoved his hands into his pockets and ducked his head again, in a charmingly self-effacing gesture. As if he was just another guy looking to learn some history and not a freakin’ billionaire playboy.

A billionaire playboy who didn’t recognize her.

A Reel Romance

Giveaway Alert

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 the Author

Maggie Dallen


Maggie Dallen is a huge fan of happily-ever-afters. She writes contemporary and YA romance and has been known to rewrite the endings to classic love stories to ensure that they end on a happy note. In Maggie’s version, Ingrid Bergman does not get on the plane. She lives in Northern California and works at a yarn store to support her knitting addiction. For more info please visit

Follow her on Twitter @Mag_Dallen. Or connect with her on Facebook

Tagged: , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Dream On by Stacey Keith

Posted November 19, 2017 by Holly in Features | 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

I discovered this book while browsing NetGalley and thought it sounded super cute. I was on a break from contemporary romances for a little while, but now that I’m back this sounds right up my alley.

Sunday Spotlight: Dream On by Stacey KeithDream On by Stacey Keith
Published by Kensington
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Deep in the heart of Texas is a small town where secret wishes have a funny way of coming true . . .

With a nine-year-old daughter, an overdue light bill, and a job slinging burgers while zooming around on roller skates, Cassidy Roby is not living the glamorous life. But Cuervo, Texas, has its charms: quiet streets, loving family, and the down-home familiarity of knowing which of your neighbors are mean as snakes. With Cassidy’s reputation, she knows what will happen if she steps a foot out of line. But how can she help it now that Mason Hannigan’s back in town?

As Cuervo’s high school quarterback ten years ago, Mason was all rock-hard abs and yes-ma’am manners. Now that he’s living the glitz and glory of the NFL, he’s all that plus a couple million bucks. The desire blazing between them is too hot to hide. Cassidy has some experience getting her heart broken by the hometown hero—and having the whole world watch her try to pick up the pieces. Will adding fame, fortune, and paparazzi be a playbook for disaster—or lead to the biggest adventure of her life?

Order the Book:



Cassidy stood shivering and barefoot on her porch. No one was up this early except the Perkins boy who weaved along the sidewalk on his bike, pitching newspapers.

But the hush of morning made everything beautiful—the silver mist, the dew-covered grass, the gray light of dawn. And she knew with absolute certainty that this one moment, when her body ached so deliciously and her heart felt so full, would stay with her forever.

Behind her, she could hear Mason washing his breakfast dishes in the sink. She’d cooked for him just as though they were any other couple and this were any other morning. There he’d sat grinning up at her from the table, and she was so in love with him, her hands shook when she scraped eggs from the skillet onto his plate. Every piece of toast she buttered was his toast. Every cup of coffee she poured was his coffee. While he ate, she ran her fingers through his thick dark hair and that feeling of delirious happiness moved through her, so intense it felt like pain.

Waiting out on the porch, she heard him close the zippers on his rucksack. Last night, the sound of a zipper had driven her crazy with desire. Now, there was no lonelier sound in the world.

Then Mason walked out on the porch, dropped his rucksack, and gathered her in his arms. Just touching him was enough to make her pulses go haywire, but as he claimed her mouth, heat and urgency and a terrible sense of loss crashed over her. Mason’s kiss deepened. Tears smarted behind her eyelids. All she could do was hope she didn’t fall apart in front of him.

“I don’t want to go,” he muttered against her lips.

“You have to. Practice, remember?”

“I can’t stop touching you.”

“Your coach is going to chop you up into tiny pieces.” Despite her sadness, no way was she going to hold him back or get him in trouble.

With visible reluctance, he released her. He closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against hers. Did he guess her heart was breaking? That no matter how much he said he loved her, she knew enough about the world he inhabited, a world of fame and money and adoration, that would inevitably take him away from her.

Mason lifted his hand and gently stroked one side of her face. “Cassidy…”


“Come to Dallas. We’re playing the Giants this weekend. Lots of wives and girlfriends will be there. You’ll love it. And that way, you can meet everybody.”

Everybody. She forced herself to smile. Everybody sounded like she would be on the receiving end of a whole lot of what Kayla served, only dressed up and with more money.

But this was for Mason. It came with the package.

“All that matters is getting to see each other,” he said. “I could send you a plane ticket. Or maybe you’d rather have a driver and a limo.”

A limo? She tried to picture one of those shiny black cars like the one she’d ridden in for prom and cringed when she thought what a stir that would cause in Cuervo. “Flying is good. But I don’t know yet if I can make it.” Or how she would make it. She had a daughter. A house. A job.

She forced another smile before he read her thoughts, yet worry intensified. It made her head ache. But then every muscle in her body ached right now from what he’d given her last night and, from the look on his face, wanted to give her again. A car drove by with more than a few faces pressed to the window. Heat crept up to her cheeks. They were out on her porch. Everyone could see it was him and what they were up to.

“I’ll videochat you tonight,” he said. With a glint in his eye, he added, “What do you think my chances are of getting your clothes off?”

Doesn’t that sound cute?

Dreams Come True

Giveaway Alert

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 the Author

Stacey Keith


Award-winning author Stacey Keith doesn’t own a television, but reads compulsively—and would, in fact, go stark raving bonkers without books, most of which are crammed into every corner of the house. She lives with her jazz musician boyfriend in Civita Castellana, a medieval village in Italy that sits atop a cliff, and she spends her days writing in a nearby abandoned 12th century church. But the two things she is most proud of are her ability to cook pasta alla matriciana without burning down the kitchen, and swearing volubly in Italian with all the appropriate hand gestures.

Tagged: , , , ,

Guest Review: My Fair Lord by Wilma Counts

Posted October 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: My Fair Lord by Wilma CountsReviewer: Tracy
My Fair Lord by Wilma Counts
Series: Once Upon a Bride #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Well-bred, well-dressed, and well-read, Henrietta, Harriet, and Hero are best friends who have bonded over good books since their schooldays. Now these cultured ladies are ready to make their own happy endings—each in her own way . . .

Lady Henrietta Parker, daughter of the Earl of Blakemoor, has turned down many a suitor for fear that the ton’s bachelors are only interested in her wealth. But despite the warnings of her dearest friends, Harriet and Hero, she can’t resist the challenge rudely posed by her stepsister: transform an ordinary London dockworker into a society gentleman suitable for the “marriage mart.” Only after a handshake seals the deal does Retta fear she may have gone too far . . .

When Jake Bolton is swept from the grime of the seaport into the elegance of Blakemoor House, he appears every inch the rough, cockney working man who is to undergo Retta’s training in etiquette, wardrobe, and elocution. But Jake himself is a master of deception—with much more at stake than a drawing room wager. But will his clandestine mission take second place to his irresistible tutor, her intriguing proposal . . . and true love?

Henrietta, in a disagreement with her half-sister, agrees to let her pick out a man from the docks so that Henrietta can turn him into a gentleman.  The stakes are high as if she loses Henrietta, or Retta as she’s known to her family, has to hand over her favorite horse.

The man that Retta’s sister picks ends up being the third son of Duke who is undercover.  Since Retta’s household is under suspicion of handing sensitive information over to the French, Jake takes the chance to get inside the Parker house.  Retta knows that something is not quite right with Jake as he learns extremely quickly, plays the piano and states quotes from philosophers.  She wants to win the bet so she brushes off her misgivings.  Jake is enthralled with Retta from the start but knows that he has to play his part til the end.  He just didn’t plan on falling in love with his teacher.

This was a take on the old the My Fair Lady story.  Teach a lower class person to be one of the nobility and fool the masses.  Only Jake was fooling the Parker’s all along as he was actually nobility already.

The story was cute and I liked Jake but I never felt a connection with either Retta or Jake and didn’t see the connection between the two of them either, I’m sorry to say.

The spy part of the book was more than a bit confusing but in the end was very simple.  I think the author added things in to make things exciting but it felt like filler and, imho, was unnecessary.  It dragged in places and I found that frustrating.  Overall a decent read but not wonderful for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Tagged: , , , , , , ,