Tag: Contemporary Romance

Sunday Spotlight: The Last Carolina Sister by Michelle Major

Posted March 7, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 5 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 Last Carolina Sister by Michelle MajorThe Last Carolina Sister by Michelle Major
Series: The Magnolia Sisters #3
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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“Perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber.”—Publishers Weekly

In Magnolia, North Carolina, love might be waiting right next door…

Meredith Ventner knows a wounded creature when she sees one. Though her temporary new neighbor may be—on the surface at least—a successful, drop-dead gorgeous doctor, she recognizes the deep hurt Ryan Sorensen is carrying, and it’s catnip to her soul. But even though Meredith is the youngest, scrappiest and single-est of Magnolia’s most famous sisters, she’s committed to expanding the animal shelter on her newly inherited farm. She can’t waste her energy on a man who’s only passing through town.

Ryan is hoping that after a month of small-town living he’ll be healed enough to return to his busy ER. His injured leg isn’t half as painful as his guilt from the tragedy he's trying to forget. Yet somehow, helping feisty, tenderhearted Meredith care for her menagerie is making him question his career-first priorities. Here in this quirky small town another future is coming into view, but can he change his life, and open his heart, to claim it?   

The Magnolia Sisters

Book 1: The Magnolia Sisters
Book 2: The Merriest Magnolia
Book 3: The Last Carolina Sister

Excerpt

Excerpted from The Last Carolina Sister, by Michelle Major. Harlequin, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

She laughed softly. “All animals have personalities, most of them more appealing than humans you meet.”

“Based on some of the characters I’ve run across in the ER, I can only imagine.”

“You must think I’m a silly, crazy pet-rescue lady, when what you do has life-or-death stakes. Most people do.”

As they watched the animals, he shifted closer to her, not so they were touching but enough that he felt the startling connection like a physical force between them. “I don’t think you’re silly, Meredith.” Her name on his lips felt right. “I’d considered crazy with the way you showed up on my doorstep, but now I get that it’s passion. You’re passionate.”

The moment the word slipped off his tongue, he regretted it. She glanced up at him, and he took a step away, not wanting to spook her. Her gaze had sharpened but held the tiniest speck of vulnerability, like she needed someone to tell her she wasn’t silly or crazy.

He wanted to say a lot of things in this moment that wouldn’t be smart for either of them. Ryan had come to Magnolia to recover on his own, not to make friends and definitely not to acknowledge an unexpected attraction to his gorgeous, spitfire neighbor.

“I should be getting home.” He made a show of yawning.

“Right,” she agreed, calling out good-night to each of the animals by name as they passed.

The damp air of the barn made Ryan’s lower leg stiffen, and he did his best not to be too obvious about how much he had to rely on his cane as they walked to her truck.
He noticed each time Meredith’s gaze tracked to his bum leg, but thankfully she didn’t ask any more questions. It was as if they’d both used up their allotment of words for the day, and by mutual agreement they drove the short distance between the two properties in a companionable silence.

“Thank you again, Doc,” she said when she pulled to a stop in front of the cottage. “I owe you.”

“Just promise me you won’t trust any more idiot men who tell you they’re interested in your kittens,” he said, then opened the door.

She grinned. “Cross my heart,” she said as she traced the shape over her thick jacket.

Ryan’s heart thumped in his chest. Despite a job that must entail hours of manual labor, her fingers were slender and elegant. Noticing them made him wonder about the rest of her body, which was not a path he had any intention of letting his mind wander down.

“Good night,” he told her and closed the car door with more force than was probably necessary. Time to remind himself that their little adventure tonight had been an aberration, not the start of anything more.

He waited until her taillights disappeared around the curve in his driveway and then limped up the steps to his front door.

The Magnolia Sisters

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: March 2021

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 Michelle Major

Michelle Major author photo

Michelle Major is the Publishers Weekly best-selling, RITA award winning author of over thirty sexy and sweet contemporary romances. She loves second-chances love stories, smart heroines and strong heroes. A Midwesterner at heart, she’s made the Rocky Mountains her home for nearly half her life and is thrilled to share her books with readers. Connect with her at www.michellemajor.com.


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Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 12, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #3
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Lucky Stars
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 485
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Cash Fraser is planning revenge and to get it he needs the perfect woman. So he hires her. Abigail Butler has lost nearly everything in her life and she's about to lose the home she loves.

Cash meets Abby, who's posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he's willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck. But both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.

Cash realizes very quickly that Abby isn't what she seems. And while he changes strategies, Abby finds out that Cash's legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say-very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.

Abby's found herself in the battle of her life (literally) so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbor, Jenny, her no-nonsense friend, Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them) and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.

Cash Fraser needs a woman. Abigail Butler needs money. When the two meet, Cash knows instantly that Abby is not what she seems. She tries to act like an escort but Cash knows that she’s anything but. What he does know is that she’s desperate. Desperation is what brought Abby to Cash and he’s going to take advantage of every minute of it. Cash needs a fake girlfriend so he can get his uncle out of Penmort Castle, his family’s ancestral home. The problem is that Cash wants his relationship with Abby to be anything but pretend.

Abby has lost everything. She lost her parents, she lost her husband, then she lost her grandmother. The only thing she has left is the house that has been in her family for generations. Unfortunately for Abby the place is falling down around her. It’s a big house that needs a lot of work. Problem is she doesn’t have the money. She and her friend Jenny come up with a scheme; she will pose as an escort and play Cash’s fake girlfriend so she can get the money that she needs. She doesn’t expect the sheer magnetism that is Cash Fraser. Abby is sure she is in over her head, but she continues on with her plan.

When Abby accompanies Cash to Penmort Castle, she knows the rumors are true; the castle is very haunted and not by a happy ghost. This one is furious and is able to physically hurt anyone she wants. And who she wants to hurt is Abby for daring to try to take away the man she loves. Never mind that she killed the man she loved and this is his ancestor. Abby is soon fighting for her life. She has the wackiest team, but who she really wants on her team is Cash.

Cash knows that the idea of ghosts is ludicrous, yet he’s unable to discount Abby’s fears especially when she shows him how many women have died at Penmort. Before long he has a witch, a ghost hunter, Abby’s best friend, and her crazy neighbor. As unbelievable as it seems, Cash is all in and he’ll do anything to protect Abby.

After reading the first two books in this series, I was super excited to read this one. It seems as each book gets a little more of a ghost aspect to it. I was really enjoying this book. A lot. Then Cassandra (the witch) and her coven calls Ben (Abby’s dead husband) back from whatever plane he’s on to help. Abby is still devastated by Ben’s death though being with Cash has started the healing process. Cash gets jealous of a ghost. I’m not really sure how I feel about that but I was pretty annoyed at the time. It just took the story a little too far.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters though Jenny was a bit odd. Other than that and the excessive ghost weirdness, I thought this was a well-written story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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Review: Reckless Road by Christine Feehan

Posted February 10, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Reckless Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Reckless Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #5
Also in this series: Judgment Road , Judgment Road, Vengeance Road, Vendetta Road, Desolation Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Refuel your passion with a new installment of the Torpedo Ink series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

While Gedeon "Player" Lazaroff is one of Torpedo Ink motorcycle club's roughest members, he's also one of the calmest. Little rattles Player, except for the times his gift gets the better of him. When that happens, he has to just lie down in the dark and hope for the best. But on a night when he's on the verge of losing it, he meets a woman who manages to soothe his fractured mind.

Zyah is a striking, ethereal beauty who seduces him with every word and move. Their night together is one of pure, exquisite bliss. But when Player gets confused and thinks their intimate encounter was nothing more than a dream, his careless dismissal leaves her humiliated and angry.

Now, Player will have to devote his every breath to convincing Zyah to give him a second chance. Because she might be the only one who can save him from himself....

I think I’m done with this series. Actually, I’m not going to lie to myself. I’ve been dying to read Savage’s book since the beginning of this series. I had a very hard time reading Desolation Road, which I was really excited about. I wasn’t really expecting much from Reckless Road and I’m glad I didn’t because I could hardly stand reading it.

Player has always been the upbeat member of Torpedo Ink. He’s able to cast illusions and did so to give himself and the other kids in the prison hope. Then his psychic power started to morph into something else; something far more dangerous. Not only could Player cast illusions, but his illusions could turn into an alternate reality. When he’s in an alternate reality, it changes what happens in the real world, which is dangerous for everyone in the actual world.

Zyah was actually a very likable heroine. I enjoyed her immensely. That doesn’t mean I liked the book. See, Zyah can literally feel the earth under her feet. The day she meets Player, she knows he’s the one for her. Unfortunately he treats her like a piece of ass and Zyah wants nothing more to do with him.

Player realizes that he messed up the next morning. He remembers how he sent the woman away, but he thought it was all a dream. He had never had anything so beautiful come into his life and he wrecked it. It doesn’t matter what Zyah thinks of him, he will protect her and her grandmother at all costs when a group of roaming thieves start targeting the elderly in Caspar. Caspar is protected by Torpedo Ink and that means its residents are protected too.

I did enjoy the romance between Player and Zyah, but there were so many big misunderstandings that it was like reading a Judith McNaught book. Sweet baby Jesus, just get on the same page. I still have this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that Christine Feehan has turned her writing over to a ghost writer or someone is assisting her in writing. The writing just isn’t the same. I realize that writing may change over the course of an author’s career, but this much? I’m a sceptic.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

two-half-stars


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Review: Wraith by Renee Rocco

Posted February 1, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wraith by Renee RoccoReviewer: Casee
Wraith by Renee Rocco
Series: Masters of Mayhem #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 22, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Dystopian, Contemporary Romance
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

It's a new world order—where the villains have become the heroes.

ERIC ‘WRAITH’ SHAWOnce upon a time… Yeah, no. Let’s stop right here. My life isn’t a fairytale. I'm not Prince Charming. And I haven't forgotten the day Jamie Ellis left town in handcuffs. But that feels like lifetimes ago. My high school crush is all grown up and she’s married to the man holding me prisoner. Drugged and tortured, I've become a monster who’ll stop at nothing to rip David Crane’s world apart.

JAMIE ELLISWhen I left Mayhem at sixteen, my heart stayed behind with the beautiful delinquent I’ve loved since kindergarten. But I'm a product of a life gone wrong, and I married David hoping for a better future. Now that I know the depth of my husband's depravity, I’ll risk everything to ruin his carefully crafted empire, because if Wraith and I want our happily ever after, we’re going to have to fight for it...

Wraith is a complete standalone in the Masters of Mayhem series.

When Eric Shaw was young, he loved Jamie Ellis. Jamie was younger than him, but he was still drawn to her. When Eric realizes how badly Jamie’s dad is abusing her, he makes plans to leave Mayhem as soon as Jamie turns eighteen. The day he decides he’s taking Jamie and leaving, she is arrested for murdering her father. She was acquitted, but she never returned to Mayhem. Eric looked for her for years without luck. Now Eric is Wraith, an enforcer for the Unholy. Wraith is a remarkable MMA fighter which catches the attention of David Crane. David kidnaps fighters off the streets, holds them captive and makes them fight each other for their very lives. They’re prisoners that can’t escape. Wraith knows that his friends are looking for him, he just has to hold on. He gets the shock of his life when he finds out Jamie Ellis is now Jamie Crane. The wife of the very man that he has sworn to kill.

Jamie Ellis has never forgotten the boy she loved since she was a child. She was sixteen when you was acquitted for her father’s murder. She didn’t think Wraith would remember or care if she went back to Mayhem, so she didn’t. After traveling around, Jamie found herself homeless and starving. David Crane rescued her from certain death, though Jamie had no idea at the time that David was a monster of the worst order. She has planned her escape, but when she finds out David is holding an Unholy prisoner, she knows that she can’t leave him. She doesn’t know who it is, but she does know that she won’t leave someone from Mayhem in David’s prison.

When Jamie and Wraith reunite, it’s as if no time has passed. Wraith is furious when he learns that Jamie married David Crane, but he soon comes to realize that she married him out of desperation. It doesn’t matter to Wraith one way or another; he’s going to kill David and make Jamie a widow. Though the two escape Gomorrah, they both know that it doesn’t end with that. The only way it will end is when David is dead. Something both Jamie and Wraith agree on.

I was hooked when I read this book. I’m a sucker for dystopian romances and this was exactly that. The captivity and the torture was so intense that I could feel Wraith’s pain radiating off the pages. I was pulled in immediately and read this book in a few days. If you like dystopian contemporaries, this book is definitely for you. The next book in the series comes out in July and I, for one, cannot wait.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Masters of Mayhem

four-stars


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Review: Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley

Posted January 27, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lacybourne Manor by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #2
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Penmort Castle, Lucky Stars
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 492
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In 1522, the very night they were wed, Royce Morgan and his new bride, Beatrice Godwin, were murdered on their way home to Lacybourne Manor. After the cruel deed was done, a local witch came across their bodies, witnessing firsthand the tragedy of star-crossed lovers. Vowing that Royce and Beatrice would someday uncross those stars, using magic mixed with murder as well as true love, she linked their spirits together with hers (because someone had to protect them) forever... or until their reincarnated souls find happily ever after.

Now, arrogant, forbidding Colin Morgan lives at Lacybourne. He knows from lore-as well as the portraits of Royce and Beatrice that hang in Lacybourne's hall and the small fact that he looks exactly like Royce Morgan-that he's the reincarnated soul of his ancestor. One stormy night, flighty, free-spirited, scarily-kind-hearted Sibyl Godwin comes to Lacybourne and it doesn't escape Colin's notice that Sibyl is the spitting image of Beatrice.

However murder, magic, a warrior's heart beating in a modern man's chest, a woman bent on doing good deeds even if they get her into loads of trouble, a good witch whose family has vowed throughout the centuries to protect true love, distrust and revenge make a volatile cocktail. This means the path to happily ever after is paved with tranquilizer darts, pensioners on a rampage, Sibyl's bad morning moods, heartbreaking misunderstandings and all kinds of magic, good... and bad.

Colin Morgan considers himself a practical man; a man that values logic. Colin knows it’s not logical to think that he’s the reincarnated soul of his murdered ancestor but the resemblance between himself and Royce Morgan is uncanny. Colin has come to terms with the fact that the lore is most likely correct. That doesn’t mean he’s going to break the curse that looms over Lacybourne Manor. That is until Sybil Godwin comes into his life unexpectedly. She’s everything he ever wanted and never expected, which is why he wants nothing to do with her. Her dog is named Mallory, the name of Royce Morgan’s horse. If Colin doubted that Sybil was Beatrice reincarnated, he soon understands that she certainly is.

For Colin Morgan had been born with a broken heart, the broken heart of a long-dead warrior, a warrior who lost his love and his life at near the same exact time.

Sybil has always felt like she was destined for something but she has not worked out why she believes this. She has always been certain, but she stars to have doubts. Taking some time to herself, Sybil heads to the family home in Bristol, hoping to find some clarity. Then she meets Colin Morgan. Sybil is unprepared for the force that is Colin. She has no idea that she is the spitting image of Beatrice Morgan, Royce’s bride.

Colin has no intention of ever telling Sybil about Beatrice, but he does decide that he’s going to have a relationship with her. He soon realizes that having Sybil in his life will be anything but simple. When Sybil discovers who Colin thinks she is, she’s devastated. She doesn’t want him to want her because she’s a reincarnated ancestor. She wants him to want her for her. There are a lot of misunderstandings between Colin and Sybil. They soon grasp the fact that evil is afoot; evil that wants to kill them as Royce and Beatrice were killed.

I genuinely loved this book. I even enjoyed the misunderstandings. This book was written in 2011. Colin is an alpha of the “old”. Similar to a McNaught or Garwood. I haven’t found there to be very many heroes like that anymore. Not for new books anyway. I did read some GR reviews and saw that some people had a problem with Sybil. She was all over the place, but that’s what made her so great. I found her to be delightful. The paranormal aspect just heightened the book. I loved reading Royce and Beatrice’s story and even “meeting” them.

Overall, this book made me want to continue on with the series.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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