Tag: Contemporary Romance

Review: Lead Me Home by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 27, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lead Me Home by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Lead Me Home by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Fight for Me #3
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Show Me the Way, Follow Me Back
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 20, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 396
Length: 10 hours and 36 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Fourteen years ago, my life changed forever.

My sister disappeared. That day I was selfish. That day I chose myself over her. And that day, I lost everything.

Including Nikki Walters.

She's the girl I’ve loved my whole life. She’s gorgeous. Caring. Every single thing I’ve ever wanted but denied myself. She was my sister’s best friend, and I destroyed any chance of keeping her.

When her safety is threatened, I have a second chance to do the right thing. But as soon as she moves in, I want her in all the wrong ways.

All it takes is a brush of her hand, and I’m losing all control.

The fire between us is only burning hotter.

But neither of us saw what was coming.

And it just might be Nikki Walters who destroys me in the end.

Ollie and Nikki have skated around each other since they were kids. The age difference was too vast when they were younger. Now tragedy lays between them and it’s something that neither of them can get past. Nikki has mostly healed after her best friend disappeared without a trace. In her heart, she knows that Sydney is dead. While she mourns for what was lost, she doesn’t let herself exist in the past. Except with it comes to Ollie, Sydney’s brother.

Ollie has not, nor will he ever forgive himself for what happened to Sydney. Although the logical part of himself knows that she dead, he can’t stop searching for her. His entire life revolves around the sister that he was always supposed to protect. Not only did he not protect her, he was the one that sent her away to her unknown fate.

Ollie can’t stay away from Nikki even though he can’t have her. His demons are too great, his soul in shreds. When someone starts harassing Nikki, Ollie steps in to protect her. It doesn’t matter that he can’t give her what she wants…Ollie will never let anything happen to the girl who should have been his. When the situation escalates, their relationship escalates as well. Nikki can’t take the pushing and pulling any longer and tells him that he needs to let her go. And leave her alone. That’s not something that Ollie can promise.

I really liked this book, but it wasn’t my favorite in the series. The way the killer (yes, killer) is found at the end and how it all ties into the story was pretty campy. That didn’t take away from the story as a whole. I really loved seeing Ollie heal with Nikki’s help.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Fight For Me

three-half-stars


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Review: Follow Me Back by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Follow Me Back by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Follow Me Back by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Joe Arden, Andi Arndt
Series: Fight for Me #2
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Show Me the Way, Lead Me Home
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 408
Length: 11 hours and 28 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The next seductive, unforgettable stand-alone romance in the FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson...

Kale Bryant. Arrogant. Gorgeous. Commanding.This ER doctor is married to his job.His only vice is one-night stands and short-lived flings.He learned a long time ago loving someone isn’t worth the risk.

Harley Hope Masterson.Beautiful. Brave. Sweet. The owner of a small coffee shop knows what it’s like to struggle.Embroiled in a bitter divorce, she’s threatened with losing everything.

When Kale accepts a new position down the street from Hope’s shop, he begins to question every wall he’s built around his heart. He wants her in a way he hasn’t wanted anyone.One touch is fire.One kiss, and he’s spinning out of control. But taking her won’t come without consequences.

Hope is in for the fight of her life.One neither of them saw coming.Now Kale must decide if loving her is worth risking it all.

She will fight with everything she has. But sometimes even hope needs a hero...

Kale Bryant is one of the best doctors in Gingham Lakes. Deciding to leave the ER to help children is the best and hardest thing he’s ever done. He sees sick children daily and although the science is invigorating, seeing young patients that he knows are dying is something else entirely. When Hope Masterson comes into his life he is hardly prepared for the effect she has on him. Kale has resorted himself to being alone, though he’s hardly lonely. He has something in his past that won’t let him move on. Even the beautiful Hope can’t make that happen.

Hope Masterson has moved to Gingham Lakes with her son to get away from her abusive ex-husband. Her little boy Evan (Hold on to Hope) had to have a heart transplant when he was just a baby. Her ex’s response was “we can try again”. Hope never forgave him for that and their marriage went downhill after Evan was born. When Kale comes into her life, she’s puts him firmly in customer territory. That is until they meet Evan’s new doctor.

Kale falls in love with Evan at first sight. It’s honestly hard not to. The character of Evan was so well written. If you didn’t love him, something is definitely wrong with you. As Evan’s doctor, it would be unethical for Kale to pursue Hope, especially since he has no plans for long term. He don’t want to hurt Hope or Evan. Of course he can’t stay away and he’s soon deeply entrenched in their lives.

I loved this book. I loved Kale, Hope, and Evan. I just loved it all. There is a twist at the end (Jackson has a way of doing that) that was unseen to me. I’m honestly not surprised because everything gets by me. It was quite the twist, but it worked. Kale and Hope’s lives have been intertwined from the beginning though they didn’t know it. Of course Kale won’t let Hope and Evan go out of his life. Everything progresses nicely after that.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fight For Me

four-stars


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Review: Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 25, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Show Me the Way by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Show Me the Way by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Fight for Me #1
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Follow Me Back, Lead Me Home
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 6, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 356
Length: 9 hours and 59 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .

Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful. The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times.

His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take.The only woman he'll let into his heart is his little girl.

Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return.Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.

When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he's in trouble.She's gorgeous and sweet and everything he can't trust.Until she becomes the one thing he can't resist.

One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide.Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.

Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .

You guys. I loved this book. Rex Gunner was the quintessential alpha male heroine. However, he wasn’t over the top. Rynna is such an amazing heroine. I just adored these two. Not to mention Rex’s daughter. Frankie Leigh was a breath of fresh air. I listened to this book on audio. Andi Arndt is a goddess.

Rex has no desire to meet or date anyone. Frankie Leigh is his life. Protecting her is his life’s work. When Rynna comes home to her grandmothers house, Rex knows he’s in trouble. He can’t get her off his mind, not to mention that she keeps popping up everywhere. Rex has ghosts in his life and he can’t move on. When he was 18, he left his girlfriend to walk home from the lake they were partying at and she was never seen or heard from again. He knows it is his fault because he’s the one that denied her plea to claim her and he embarrassed her and told her to leave.

Rynna has ghosts of her own. She left Gingham Lakes after being cruelly bullied when she was in high school. When I say cruelly, I mean it was awful. It would have sent me running too. Now Rynna is back and determined to reopen Pepper’s Pies, her grandma’s baby. Though she just tries to be neighborly to Rex, he rebuffs her every advance. Until the day comes when he and Frankie Leigh need her.

These two were most definitely tortured. They are both broken and just going through the motions. Their love is special because of the obstacles that they have to overcome. They are perfect together. Then Rex’s ex comes into town and turns Rynna’s world upside down. It’s quite a twist and something that was totally unexpected.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Fight For Me

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: A Cowboy Like You by Donna Grant

Posted November 24, 2019 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: A Cowboy Like You by Donna GrantA Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas #4) by Donna Grant
Series: Heart of Texas #4
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Westerns
Pages: 304
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In the Heart of Texas, a heartthrob cowboy may get his second chance at love…

Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job―and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn’t gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny’s heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home―where it all began for her. But that’s what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever. But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar’s wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant adds to her popular Heart of Texas series with A COWBOY LIKE YOU (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; November 26, 2019). In her latest captivating and compelling Western, a heartthrob cowboy who’s been stuck in a rut may get his second chance at a love with a woman he never forgot.

Excerpt

Excerpt from A COWBOY LIKE YOU by Donna Grant

Of all the people Danny had thought he might run into, he’d never in a million years expected to see Skylar Long again. If he believed in destiny, he’d almost accept that his thinking of her earlier had brought her straight to him.

One of the things he remembered about her was how she’d wanted to get out of their town and move to a big city. Her sights had been set on Houston or even Dallas. She had wanted to get lost in all the people.

Many of his classmates had spoken about leaving their little town, but few did. And many who left eventually returned. Not Skylar. She’d gotten out, and he’d figured she would stay gone forever. After all, her parents had moved about ten years ago, which meant there was no reason for her to return.

Yet, here she was. And more stunning than ever.

She had been Danny’s crush from the time they were in grade school. Skylar had always been a free spirit. She had confidence that most girls her age lacked. It wasn’t arrogance, simply a belief in herself that came through in everything she did.

While beautiful, she had been a little reserved. She had run with the popular crowd, but she didn’t wield that social level to degrade anyone or use it to her benefit like others had. She had been kind, and she wore her heart on her sleeve.

He and Skylar had been able to talk about anything. She was always open and engaging, but Danny had never pursued her as his girlfriend. He’d never thought he was good enough for her, not when so many of his other friends had wooed her.

Danny looked at her. The harsh light of the streetlamp above them couldn’t diminish her beauty. Her golden blond hair was pulled up haphazardly with strands falling around her face and neck. But her large, azure eyes still held more shock and fear than he liked.

She was on the petite side with curves in all the right places. Her lips were full, pouty even, and they made his blood heat just looking at them. Her skin had the dewy glow of a healthy lifestyle that made him want to reach out and run the pads of his fingers down her cheek to see if her skin was as velvety as it appeared.

Hearing her story earlier made him want to go find Matt and punch him a few times. Danny had never been so happy to be in the right place at the right time. He gave himself an inward shake to get back to the matter at hand. “And what happened tonight?” Danny asked to get the final piece of the puzzle.

Skylar shrugged. “It was Matt’s night out with friends. I made sure to keep to my same schedule, not doing anything that would alert him that I planned to leave. I waited an hour after he left before I grabbed an overnight bag and threw a few things in. I just wanted to get out. I didn’t care about the rest of my stuff. I figured I could get it back later or replace it.”

“It was a good decision. Things can be replaced. Your life can’t. So, how did he figure out that you left?”

“I honestly don’t know.” Concern clouded her face. “He was gone, I know it. I even drove by the bar to make sure his car was there. Then I headed straight out of town.”

This wasn’t the first time Danny had dealt with a domestic situation like this, but he didn’t like that he knew one of the parties involved. Mainly because he knew the odds of how such circumstances turned out.

Danny ran a hand down his face, his gut churning. “If he was gone from the house and at the bar, then he had to know you left somehow. Are there cameras in the residence?”

Her eyes widened, and her lips parted in shock. “I . . . I don’t know. There could be. It sounds like something he’d do. He was adamant about me moving into his place. It was bigger than mine, even though mine was in a better location, so I agreed.”

“What about tracking your car?”

She shook her head and shrugged her shoulders at the same time. “I wouldn’t put anything past him.”

“Does he always know what’s going on in your life?

People you’ve talked to, places you’ve been?” “Yes.”

“What about phone calls and texts? Does he ask you specifics about them?”

She frowned as she thought about his question. “He used to, but not anymore.”

Danny figured as much.

Skylar’s gaze sharpened on him. “Why? Do you think he installed some kind of spyware on my phone? Oh, God. He installed spyware on my phone.”

“We’ll get you a new one, and I’ll have my guys look over your car to see if there’s any kind of device.”

Her eyes filled with tears that she hastily blinked away. “How did I get into such a situation?”

“It doesn’t matter. What counts is that you’re getting out of it. If that’s what you want.”

Her head bobbed up and down rapidly. “Yes. I knew I was getting away from him tonight, one way or another.”

Danny recalled that she had said she had a handgun in her car. Not that he could blame her for having it, but he was happy she hadn’t had to use it. “I’m glad you pulled in here.”

“I wasn’t going to. As soon as I thought the headlights were from a car like his, I thought it was just my imagination, that I was just scared and seeing things. Then something told me to pull in here and see if the vehicle followed. As soon as it did, I knew it was Matt. Why were you here?”

Danny lifted one shoulder and twisted his lips. “Eating dinner.”

She blinked and looked around. “At a rest stop?” “Yeah. Where were you headed?” he asked to change the subject. He didn’t want to discuss his lack of a life, not when her situation was more important.

Skylar blew out a breath. “I don’t know. I just got on the road and drove. I didn’t even realize I was here until I saw the county sign five miles back.”

“Is there anyone in town you can stay with?”

Her gaze dropped to the ground. “I didn’t keep up with anyone here. I can stay at a hotel.”

“That’s the first place Matt will look for you when he gets out of jail. I could post a deputy to keep watch, but that’s a temporary fix.”

“I understand.” Her gaze lifted to his, and she forced a smile that didn’t reach her blue eyes. “You’ve been a great help tonight, but you’ve done enough. I’ll figure something out.”

Danny took a step toward her. “If you think I’m going to walk away, then you don’t remember me at all.”

“Oh, I remember you,” she said. This time, the smile was the one he remembered from years earlier.

“Then let me help.”

Worry crossed her face once more. “Matt is the kind that won’t give up, isn’t he?”

“Let’s just say that I don’t want to take any chances with him. I know the perfect place you can stay. It’s a fortress unto itself. There’s no way Matt can get anywhere near you there.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

Her relief was so great that her shoulders drooped with it. “I can follow you there.”

“Your car is staying here. I’ll have it towed to the station to be looked over. Get whatever you need. I’ll drive you.”

Hearts of Texas

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 2019

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 Donna Grant

Donna Grant Author Photo

Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

In addition to her novels, Donna has written over forty short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.

She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.

Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.

Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her three cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore with her children. Or buying makeup. And shoes.


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Review: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 18, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: A Stone in the Sea by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
A Stone in the Sea by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: Bleeding Stars #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 23, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
Length: 9 hours and 33 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

A Stone in the Sea ~

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she's helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

Sebastian Stone has nothing left. That’s not quite right. He has his band, his best friends, and his brother. Even as the lead singer of a successful band, Sebastian feels alone. Until he walks into a bar in Savannah and sees her.

Bas isn’t looking for anything. Not a relationship, not a friendship. When he sees Shea Bentley, he is floored. He tries to leave her alone, but he can’t. He talks her into starting something but he doesn’t know what that is. Then he finds out she has a daughter. What does he do? He runs.

Shea was starting to fall for Sebastian Stone. She thought they may have had something special. Unfortunately he wasn’t the man that she thought he was. He instantly retreats when he finds out she’s a mom. She’ll never regret her daughter or how she was brought into her life.

Sebastian soon finds out that he can’t stay away from Shea, nor can he stay away from her wonderful, amazing daughter. As the three of them get to know each other, they have no idea how closely intertwined their lives are. But they find out. Callie’s dad is none other than the man that is trying to take Bas down. He wants his career, his money, and his freedom. Shea knows how ruthless and evil that Martin is and tells Bas not to underestimate him.

It was so sweet reading about Bas and Shea falling in love. Of Bas falling for Callie. Bas has lived a hard life with plenty of heartbreak. When he’s with Shea, all that goes away and he’s just happy. As for Shea, she has her own secrets. The question is, how long can she keep it from Sebastian?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bleeding Stars

four-stars


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