Tag: Brenda Jackson

Guest Review: Possessed by Passion by Brenda Jackson

Posted May 12, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Possessed by Passion by Brenda JacksonReviewer: Judith
Possessed by Passion by Brenda Jackson
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, African American
Pages: 224
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

They're discovering the healing powers of passion

Burned-by-love architect Hunter McKay came home to Phoenix to open her own firm, not rekindle her fleeting high school romance with playboy Tyson Steele. But when she runs into the sexy surgeon at a nightclub—and he unleashes that legendary Steele charm—Hunter fears she's headed straight for heartbreak once again.

Tyson hasn't forgotten the one who got away. A weeklong fling should be just enough to get the sultry beauty out of his system for good, even if he has to let Hunter set the ground rules. But the rules are suddenly changing for the no-strings bachelor. Can Tyson convince this sensual woman that he's the real deal—that they deserve a second chance together?

Brenda Jackson is one of the few authors I believe has the talent and skill to make this family saga a continuing success.  I think it is largely because within the framework of a very erotic love story there is the reality of family and caring connection that keeps these people grounded even when they live in ways that seem at odds with the morals and standards that guide their families of origin.  A plus for me is also the fact that her characters are real people who are driven by real dreams and goals, whose evident success has been won often in difficult circumstances.  That they are people of color has not been a help but they know their own worth and are not afraid to go for what they want.

Such is the attitude of the intrepid Dr. Tyson Steele who, like so many of the men in this family, is a player romantically.  Steady and stalwart professionally and connected and loving to his siblings and family members, he still likes to play and keep his options open.  In truth, he has yet to be fully bitten by the love bug, except when he came close while a high school lothario and was enamored with Hunter McKay.  Those days are long gone, but she’s back.  And in typical, no-strings bachelor fashion, Tyson is going to use a sexy fling to get himself free of any lingering feelings that might pose a future complication to his free and easy bachelor ways.

This is another fun love story from a wonderful author, one of my favorites, actually.  She creates a heroine who is real, not a stick woman who lives on lettuce leaves and coffee.  Hunter is a curvy woman who is proud of the body she loves, enjoys her life and displays inner as well as outer beauty.  She has the capacity to rope in Tyson Steele, but she isn’t convinced that she wants to.  She really isn’t in the market for hurt.  But Ms Jackson loves the happy ending, and although their love story is not free and easy, twisting and turning and surprising the reader,  these two characters are good people and their relationship is fun to watch grow and develop into a real love story.  I also think that Tyson is the kind of man many women would love to know just because he is not only good looking and successful, but in most ways he knows how to treat a woman with respect and dignity.

Another aspect of Ms Jackson’s stories that I have always appreciated is that her characters grow even more as the story progresses.  I have come to really dislike romance fiction with main characters who are childish and immature and tend to remain that way.  Such is not the case in Ms Jackson’s novels and that is not the case here.  Hunter and Tyson not only take a long look at one another but they are honest enough to take a long look at themselves.  It is watching their character grow and expand as they interact with one another that makes this another fascinating love story with many levels of interest and ways for the reader to connect to the story.

If you haven’t read a Brenda Jackson novel before, here’s a good place to start.  If you are one of her fans, you will like this novel just as well as you have liked others in her extensive writing resume.  It’s another winner, IMHO.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.

four-stars

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Guest Review: Breaking Bailey’s Rules by Brenda Jackson

Posted April 6, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Breaking Bailey’s Rules by Brenda JacksonReviewer: Judith
Breaking Bailey's Rules by Brenda Jackson
Series: Westmoreland series #30
Also in this series: Bane
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Western
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Rule number one for Bailey Westmoreland: Never fall for a man who would take her away from her tight-knit family's Colorado home. So why is she following rancher Walker Rafferty all the way to Alaska? Bailey tells herself she owes the sexy loner an apology, and once she gets there, it's only right to stay and help him when he's injured…isn't it? Before long, Bailey realizes home might be where you make it—if Walker is ready to take all she has to offer.

Any lover of romance who has also come to appreciate interracial stories knows about and appreciates Brenda Jackson.  Her Westmoreland Family series has gone on now for years, and while some reviewers have panned her stories as formulaic and predictable, I still like to read her work.  Ms Jackson is a writer who is unashamedly open about her interest in human relationships and family dynamics.  She has covered the full spectrum of emotion as well as the situations people either cause or in which they find themselves victims.  She is also not subtle about her heroes being alpha males, many of whom are unwilling to settle down to one woman.  Money, opportunity, careers, and a long list of other variable make these men challenges in and of themselves.

However, in this story, the challenge is a young woman who is comfortable in her skin, who wants to be appreciated for who she is, who enjoys her independent ways along with the full involvement in a family that is energetic to say the least.  Her one requirement for anyone looking to become involved with her romantically, long-term partner or permanent significant other, is that she will never leave Colorado.  It is her home in more ways than just geographical.  She is connected to the land, the environment, the mountains’ majestic presence, the sense of “home” she shares with her Westmoreland family.  She believes there is someone who will be the passionate partner she is seeking and who will want to keep her happy in the land she loves above all other.

Now there pops up another possible branch of the Westmoreland clan, and the connection is not a happy one or acceptable in many ways.  To acknowledge this family is to accept that there was hurt and infidelity in the past, and that is so not OK.  Walker Rafferty is a close family friend and one that is sent to investigate the possible connections between previously unknown relatives and it is meeting Bailey that throws a wrench into his life.  His efforts to interest her in some kind of romantic liason are rebuffed—that’s probably too mild a descriptive—and in good conscience Bailey realizes that she has some fences to mend after Walker returns to Alaska, a very long way from Colorado.

As always, Ms Jackson draws her characters with a deft and sure skill, giving readers a full imagination of what these characters look like, how they think, what they yearn for, and how they go about finding ways to reach their personal relational goals.  Bailey is a woman that can be lovely and kind, but she has the ability to be as uncomfortable as a thorn bush.  The slow progress that Bailey and Walker make toward some sort of connection is the core of this story, and while it is certainly a movement toward “happily ever after,” it is not a comfortable story.  I always find a Brenda Jackson a good read.  It is balanced between the need to keep a story line clean and moving forward and the erotic content.  It is not just about their sex life but rather how all the elements of their humanity gradually merge to make it possible for these two to connect on a deeper, more lasting level.

It’s a good book, a fun read in many ways, and a nice way to spend an evening.  Just the kind of experience a lover of good romance enjoys.

I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Guest Review: Bane by Brenda Jackson

Posted February 25, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Bane by Brenda JacksonReviewer: Judith
Bane by Brenda Jackson
Series: Westmoreland series #31
Also in this series: Breaking Bailey's Rules
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: December 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Western
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

After five years, navy SEAL Brisbane Westmoreland is back home on his ranch and ready to reclaim the woman he left behind. But when he tracks her to Dallas, he's in for a shock.

Crystal Newsome isn't ready to forgive Bane for saying he loved her then vanishing from her life. Only now the beautiful chemist needs his protection. As their own irresistible chemistry takes over once again, can Bane keep Crystal safe and convince her they can have the second chance they both deserve?

It appears that with this 31st book in the Westmoreland Family Saga, Brenda Jackson is finally leaving this clan behind.  Yet she is bringing that era to a close with a bang.  Those who have read previous books in this long, 13 year series, have met most of the characters in her books many times over.  She is always careful to give sufficient context so that readers can keep track of these various people.  Lovers of this series and of Jackson books in general have been waiting for this book for quite some time.  And it is not a disappointment.  There is love and laughter, dismay and disappointment, deep love and anger, history and yet a future that is in doubt, especially when Chrystal’s own personal safety is on the line.

I doubt that there is a woman alive who would wait patiently for a spouse from whom only one contact was received in five years.  Yet Bane comes home ready to resume his life with Crystal and finds a wife that has no open arms of love spread for him.  Instead he finds anger and upset and becomes quickly aware that he is going to have to work hard to once again find himself accepted in the regard and love of a woman he has loved all his life.  His reasons for seeming to abandon Crystal and her present need for Bane’s protection are all strands in a story that is complicated and convincingly realistic.  The threads of the story weave in and out and form a story that will hook the reader’s imagination from the first.  Bane and Crystal have never lost that chemical magic that sustained their early love.  Finding a new foundation upon which to rebuild is challenging and very much a part of how this all plays out for these two.

Brenda Jackson is, quite simply, one of my favorite authors.  I have read her books for years and whenever I see a new one I am on it like white on rice.  This book was no exception and whether one has read all the books in this series or just a few, the energy level, the consistent skill and evident expertise have never wavered no had Ms Jackson ever disappointed her fans.  She uses the best kind of language, full of descriptive words and  a much appreciated balance between dialogue and monologue.  Her characters are people of deep family loyalty and in spite of how they choose to live their lives, each has a clear inner core of morality and integrity.  This is a fine piece of writing and a credit to its creator.  It is well worth the time and effort to read and enjoy.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5

five-stars

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Blog Tour: Bane by Brenda Jackson

Posted November 18, 2015 by Rowena in Giveaways, Promotions | 9 Comments

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About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson’s last Westmoreland bachelor is a navy SEAL on a mission to protect the woman who got away…

After five years, navy SEAL Brisbane Westmoreland is back home on his ranch and ready to reclaim the woman he left behind. But when he tracks her to Dallas, he’s in for a shock.

Crystal Newsome isn’t ready to forgive Bane for saying he loved her then vanishing from her life. Only now the beautiful chemist needs his protection. As their own irresistible chemistry takes over once again, can Bane keep Crystal safe and convince her they can have the second chance they both deserve?

About the Cover Model

Who really is cover model BANE?

Besides representing our heartthrob Bane on the cover of Brenda Jackson’s latest novel BANE, who really is the hot man gracing the front cover?

His name is Louis Allen III or LA3 for short. If you would like to check out some more photos of our Bane, he can be found on Twitter (@la3themodel) or visit his website: http://www.la3themodel.com

tibo norman

GIVEAWAY ALERT

Our friends over at TLC Book Tours is giving away a copy of BREAKING BAILEY’S RULES by Brenda Jackson. To enter, please use the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

*Please note this is not a Book Binge sponsored giveaway*

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Guest Review: A Madaris Bride for Christmas by Brenda Jackson

Posted May 6, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

A Madaris Bride for Christmas Judith’s review of A Madaris Bride for Christmas by Brenda Jackson

One by one, Madaris men have surrendered to the matchmaking schemes of Felicia Laverne Madaris, matriarch of the family. But Lee Madaris isn’t letting anyone else control his destiny.   He’ll bring a bride of his own choosing to the family’s holiday gathering if his hotel’s gorgeous new chef will agree to a marriage of convenience.

It’s not just the chance to work at the Strip’s hottest hotel that brought Carly Briggs to Vegas. Witnessing a crime in Miami may have made her a mob target. Though she’s reluctant to complicate their working relationship, Lee’ s tempting offer is so hard to resist. And soon, desire is clouding their no-strings arrangement.

The danger that made Carly flee Miami is about to land at their door.  So Carly and Lee must decide who to trust, when to let go and whether a love they never anticipated is strong enough to pass the ultimate test.

I discovered Brenda Jackson’s books several years ago and she immediately became one of my favorite authors.  Having read a ton of the Westmoreland series, I was delighted to find this new Madaris series novel on Net Galley.  It’s a family I have not really encountered too often having been fascinated with some of her other books.  But this holiday novel is a delight and well worth reading.

As is so often the case, especially in families where the adult males are determined to hang on to their fun-loving bachelor status for extended years, the matriarch of the Madaris Clan has decided that Lee Madaris, a wealthy and incredibly successful international hotel magnate, will be married by Christmas and on his way to giving her added members of her family to preserve their legacy.  In this fun tale of passion seasons with a fair amount of mystery, Lee Madaris has as his goal to present his great grandmother with a bride of his choosing and not hers.  This is made even more intentional when one of his cousins relays the information that Mama Laverne, as she is called, is planning Lee’s wedding to occur at Christmas when the family gathers in Houston.

For Carly Briggs, Las Vegas and the Grand MD Hotel represent a new start, opportunities to further her own professional dreams and to pursue a life that is essentially scrubbed clean of men who are not who they appear to be.  Meeting Lee Madaris is upending emotionally and turns out will place some choices before Carly that could well change the direction of her life.

As always, a Brenda Jackson novel is filled with people of vast life experience mixed in with the kind of characters who are real, gritty, full of the struggles with which most people must contend.  It’s what makes a Jackson novel resonate so well with so many readers.  She has also used her considerable writing talents to bring people of color into the reading experience of romance fiction lovers and she never backs away from writing clearly about the cultural traditions that people of all races possess and which set the boundaries, both good and bad.  She has been determined to write about successful African-American males and lifts them up as role models.  It makes no difference that this is fiction.  Men like Lee Madaris and his family members speak clearly that life can bring great success into reality for all people regardless of race or color.

Readers will also find out that Ms Jackson writes realistically about the love relationships between her characters and also romantic interactions can bring both joy and pain into the hearts of her characters.  This story is spicy and sexy, filled with passion and the sparks that will continue to ignite the relationship between Carly and Lee.  Yet both of these people are afraid of the hurt that genuine love can engender, the damage that deep disappointment can do and the ways that fears from the past can hinder true happiness in the future.  Yes, there’s a HEA but the reader will encounter a fair share of ups and downs, surprises, encounters with the crime syndicate and so forth.  So there’s lots going on even as Lee and Carly will finally have to make a choice about the future.

Ms Jackson continues to gift her readers with stories that are well told, characters that speak to us on a visceral level and a satisfying reading experience that makes us happy to pick up the next Brenda Jackson novel.  But don’t be fooled–that is not all about Christmas presents and lights, Santa Claus and Silent Night.  It all comes together around the family gathering but lots happens before the stockings are hung by the fireplace.

If you are a Brenda Jackson fan or really like the Kimani Romance books from Harlequin, you will really like this book.  It is not an massive or epic novel by any means.  But there’s enough substance to make a good sized novel.  I know I found it to be a terrific read.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from Harlequin Kimani.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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