Publisher: Signet Eclipse

Review: Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 2, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Rescue by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #1
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target, Midnight Target
Published by Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: May 1st 2012
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 354
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Dangerous. Ruthless. Savage. And she's the good guy.
Abby Sinclair had a desperate childhood until she was rescued and adopted by a retired army ranger who molded her into a master of self-defense. Now, she's a cunning and fearless assassin thrust into assignment after dangerous assignment, using everything she has-nerve, resilience, strength, sex-to come out on top. Her only rule: trust no one.
Abby's latest assignment is in Columbia: go undercover and snuff out a dangerous arms dealer active in the underground sex trade. But when Abby purposely blows her cover in a last-ditch attempt to free the helpless victims, deadly mercenary Kane Woodland is recruited as back-up. His mission: get Abby out of that hell hole.
The last thing Kane expects is to feel a primal attraction for Abby. But when she convinces him to join her on her perilous mission, their newfound passion could put the lives of their whole team at risk.

I’ve been meaning to read the Killer Instincts series for awhile now. I wish I wouldn’t have put it off, because this series seriously rocks it.

Abby Sinclair is a heartless assassin. Or so she thinks. Deep undercover, her job is to bring down an arms dealer that dabbles in sex trafficking. Until she blows her cover to try to save a handful of girls that are about to be sold into the black market. Abby thinks she has everything under control, but her boss disagrees. When the Queen of Assassins thinks you’re in trouble, nothing stops her from doing what needs to be done.

Jim Morgan and his mercenaries are called in to go to Columbia to rescue Abby. That doesn’t happen a moment too soon. What they don’t expect is after they get her to safety, she wants to go right back. No one can talk her out of it, not even Kane Woodland. Her rescuer and the man she is reluctantly attracted to is someone she can’t trust even though he seems to be on her side. Abby learned a long time ago that men aren’t to be trusted. The only man she ever trusted was her adoptive father and he went and died on her.

Kane thinks Abby is crazy, but he knows there is no way to stop her from going back to Columbia. He’s all in. He doesn’t even try to fight the attraction he feels for Abby. He knows that she’s not the the person for him. She doesn’t trust at all. She’s completely closed off emotionally. Or so he thinks. It doesn’t take Kane long to see Abby for who she truly is and that’s not the heartless assassin everyone thinks she is.

Still, Abby’s secrets might drive Kane away and ruin the fragile connection they have. While I liked Abby, she wasn’t my favorite heroine. I appreciated what she went through as a child and how she became strong. I even understood how she couldn’t get over it. I wouldn’t have gotten over it. It was just that Kane was so open and honest and she couldn’t return it even to him. It got annoying. Still, the supporting characters and the storyline were good enough for me to move forward with the series and I’m glad that I did.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Dark Lady by Maire Claremont

Posted February 15, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Dark Lady by Maire ClaremontReviewer: Tracy
The Dark Lady (Mad Passions, #1) by Maire Claremont
Series: Mad Passions #1
Also in this series: The Dark Affair
Published by Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: January 16th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 313
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Goodreads
two-half-stars

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor...

Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jaded soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse.

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked.

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked.

Viscount Ian Blake returns to England after three years in India. He is anxious to return to the home he grew up in as he’s not sure what his welcome will be by his childhood friend Eva. When he gets to the house, however, what he finds is quite shocking. He finds Eva gone, her son dead and her dead husbands brother as the Lord of the Manor. Ian finally gets out of Thomas (the current Lord) that Eva was put into an asylum because she went mad after the deaths of her husband and son in such short succession. Ian is determined to get Eva out of the mad house and goes there acting as if he is Thomas.

Ian manages to get Eva out (and almost get her friend Mary as well but that didn’t work out) and he heads off to try and keep Eva away from the asylum thugs that are looking for her to take her back and to keep her away from the Laudanum that she’s become addicted to.

Eva wants nothing but to forget. She hates herself for killing her son and feels she deserves to be in the mad house. Ian tries to make her see that it’s not her fault but he has guilt aplenty about Eva’s dead husband, Hamilton, who was also Ian’s best friend. Ian sets out with a friend of his to prove that Eva isn’t crazy and that will get her out from under Thomas’s thumb. He tries to hide his love for Eva along the way but can’t quite manage it when she’s in such close proximity at all times.

This book started off really good. I was completely into Ian finding Eva and what he needed to do to get Eva out of the asylum. Even not long after that when they stopped for the night and they had it out about Eva’s Laudanum usage and she almost got herself killed trying to get a fix. Shortly after that the book went downhill for me.

Yes, the book was dark and gothic but the guilt that both Eva and Ian carried with them brought the story down to an almost depressing level. I was unimpressed with the constant inner fighting they both did with themselves and the slow pace that the book took on because of it. During the middle of the book I almost put it down completely but kept reading. I’m not sure I’m happy I did. Yes, everyone was happy in the end and it all worked out for everyone (almost too smoothly) but the getting to that point, for me, wasn’t worth the time spent.

I’m giving this story a slightly higher grade than I normally would just for the first part of the book, Mary’s part (which was small but awesome) and Ian’s friend’s involvement as those parts saved the book for me.  I think this is one that you have to read in order to decide on for yourself.  I looked at Goodreads and apparently, I’m in the minority on my rating so if you read it let me know what you think.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

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

two-half-stars


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Review: Sweet Return by Anna Jeffrey

Posted November 16, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Sweet Return by Anna JeffreyReviewer: Holly
Sweet Return by Anna Jeffrey
Series: The West Texas Books #3
Published by Signet Eclipse, Self-Published
Publication Date: December 27th 2012
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 222
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When renowned war correspondent and photojournalist Dalton Parker is dragged back to his hometown to face his past and handle a family crisis, the last thing he expects is to see a prime pasture of his family's Lazy P ranch taken over by hundreds of stinking chickens. There's an explanation for this and its name is Joanna Walsh, his mother's best friend.

While Joanna is a good-looking woman who's no dummy, she's the most uncompromising and infuriating woman Dalton has ever met. Still, he can't keep from admiring her caring nature and common sense. The dumbest thing he could do is try to lure her into his bed, but he's never been smart when it comes to women.

Joanna Walsh is known for trying to fix other people's problems. Believing the oldest Parker son could and should help his mother, Joanna is the one who called him to come back to town. And that turned out to be the biggest mistake she's ever made.

Once the rugged, self-assured Dalton sees her hens and her free-range egg operation, he's determined they have to go. Yet, through their daily conflicts, Joanna starts to see that while he's seen and photographed the worst of humanity and grown a hard shell, deep down he's a softie hiding a damaged heart. At the same time she dreads his abrasiveness, she can't keep from being drawn to him in a way she's never been before. Can she fix him, too?

I love the South. I don’t know why, but there’s just something so…Southern about it. The lazy Southern drawls, the laid back Southern life, the sexy Southern men. drool But even more than I love the South, I love Texas. Really. I love Texas more than cops love donuts. Yep, that much. Well, ok..let me clarify…I love romance novels set in Texas. I honestly can’t say why this is. I’ve never lived in Texas, so I can’t say I have some loyalty to it. I don’t like their football team, so I can’t claim that as a reason.  It’s just one of my quirks, loving Texas.

So when I was contacted by Ms. Jeffery and asked if I’d like an ARC of this, I immediately – upon learning it was set in Texas – said, “Yes!”. I can’t say I regret it, either.

Joanna is one busy woman. After leaving for college, her dream was to return to Hatlow, Texas, her hometown. Unlike most other people, Joanna loves the small town and all it’s residents. But to make a living in Hatlow, Joanna’s had to run several businesses at once. She owns and operates a Beauty Shop and Janitorial Supply store and also has an egg business. Yes, Joanna is in the business of chickens. Her good friend, and Dalton’s mother, kind of talked her into it, and she works hard to run both of her businesses.

When Dalton’s brother is involved in a car accident, Joanna calls him and asks him to come back home to help his mother. Dalton isn’t interested at all, but finally agrees because Joanna guilts him into it. He comes home and he and Joanna are immediately attracted to one another, but he hates her chickens and she thinks he’s a bad son with no morals…plus, do to a miscommunication, she thinks he has a woman waiting for him back home (in California).

I really enjoyed this story, despite the few misunderstandings. Right up until the end. Joanna was a good character, well developed with a strong work ethic and a good personality. She has a habit of “meddling” into other people’s lives, because she wants to fix things for them – or help them – whenever she possibly can. Although this can be an annoying trait, Ms. Jeffrey pulled it off brilliantly. Though Joanna “meddled” she wasn’t annoying or overbearing..she simply just wanted to help.

Dalton was also a well fleshed out character, though I wonder at his pigheadedness. He had very firm ideas about how things should be and that grated on my nerve a bit. For example: He hates that Joanna has chickens on his mother’s farm. So he constantly makes rude – and derogatory – remarks to Joanna about it. Plus, he thinks Joanna somehow swindled his mother and talked her into letting her have the land the chickens are on, even though both Joanna and her mother explained otherwise. He even helps Joanna care for them on more than one occasion, but still persists in calling them stupid animals and degrading Joanna for having them. There was just something inconsistent about his behavior.

That’s not to say I didn’t like him, or the part he played in this novel. I did, quite a bit. But something just seemed…off about his actions. Or perhaps I just read too much into them.

Watching him and Joanna circle around their attraction to each other – and eventual feelings – was at equal parts hilarious, frustrating and sweet. I feel they should have been more open and honest with each other from the beginning, but I think I understand why they weren’t, considering they didn’t get off on the best foot.

The secondary characters enriched the story rather from detracting from it and I felt they gave the story an extra kick just when it might have become boring or bogged down. There were a few things I felt were left unresolved, such as Joanna’s relationship with her mother, but it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t enjoy the story.

I guess my big issue with the book comes at the end. I think it was rather abrupt and not as well done as the story deserved. Towards the end middle of the last chapter absolutely nothing had been resolved between Joanna and Dalton, and had in fact gotten worse for them. As you can imagine, I found that more than frustrating. I like my HEA’s all tied up in a nice neat, tidy little bow and although the ending was Happy, it wasn’t tidy or tied up with a bow.

I don’t want to spoil it for any of you, but I will tell you the conflict isn’t resolved until the very last second and it was done well, if not quite to my satisfaction (again with needing it tied up in a bow).

Despite the ending, I truly enjoyed this book. It’s very character driven and something I’d say made me feel good, which is a powerful thing for a novel to do. For a contemporary romance, without a suspense plot to be found, it’s something I’d recommend.

3.75 out of 5

This book is available December 4, 2007 from Signet. Pre-order it here. Read an excerpt here.

three-half-stars


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