Tag: Heather Rainier

Guest Review: Bunny and the Beast by Heather Rainier

Posted March 31, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Bunny and the Beast by Heather RainierReviewer: Judith
Bunny and the Beast by Heather Rainier
Series: Divine Creek Ranch #22
Also in this series: Brokenhearted Beauty
Published by Siren-BookStrand
Publication Date: September 22nd 2015
Genres: Romance, Erotica, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Hard-working, strong, and sassy, Bunny Carrigan desires a simple life, far away from the complications of the big city, posh houses, and materialism. She makes her own rules and has no time for pushy men in fancy suits or playing games.

Joseph Hazelle enjoys taking control and has very set ideas about what the ideal submissive looks and acts like. In fact, his ideas are so set they might as well be concrete. Vibrant and full of life, Bunny challenges Joseph's preconceived notions and she's determined that if she submits at all, it's going to be on her own terms. Accustomed to being the instructor, Joseph discovers that Bunny has claimed his lonely heart and has a thing or two to teach him. All he has to do is educate her about his world and convince her that she does indeed "do" submission. What could go wrong? ** A Siren Erotic Romance

[Siren Everlasting Classic: Erotic Consensual BDSM Romance, BDSM, sex toys, HEA]

This is the 22nd book in the Divine Creek Ranch series from this author and it is a series that I continue to read with great enjoyment.  Ms Rainier has managed to bring these characters alive as they interact with community citizens, partying, enjoying a night of dancing and fun at the Dancing Pony club, doing a little matchmaking on the side, and living life and loving on their own terms.

Readers met Bunny Carrigan and Joseph Hazale in the previous Lumberjack Weekend and these two knew then that their was an attraction that couldn’t and wouldn’t be ignored.  They each live a very different lifestyle, guided by very different rules and attitudes, and their personalities are seemingly at odds with each other.  Yet there is no denying that Bunny and Joseph are two individuals who will find a way together, even though their future relationship is iffy.

This is a book that contains very obvious erotic content as well as one that is based in the practice of BDSM.  In fact, Joseph owns a BDSM establishment and it is clear that he is locked into his understanding of the Dom/sub configuration that guides his interaction with the opposite sex.  Bunny is simply a hard-working young woman who has family responsibilities even though she has never been married.  She is open to a love relationship but she is never open to giving up her independence and her ability to call the shots for her life.  The idea of any kind of submission is simply foreign to her.  So where are these two going?  That is the question that drives this novel and it is fascinating to watch how their story unfolds.  Both are really good people but their alternate views of how men and women interact romantically and sexually is the sticking point between them.  Readers will find themselves deeply involved in watching Bunny teach Joseph some romantic realities that he never knew or has long forgotten while Joseph opens Bunny’s awareness to the many facets of BDSM that are healing and empowering.

I greatly enjoyed this story just as I have the 21 books that preceded it.  It is always fun to keep up with characters who have populated previous books and in the community of Divine, Texas, there is always something going on that keeps readers attached to that fictional town.  From the very beginning, Ms Rainier has written her books with the express goal of demonstrating that human love is magnificent and can be expressed in myriad ways.  The people in her books are good, ordinary, hard-working, life-loving persons and all of them are seeking to find love and acceptance.  Many of them find it in very unexpected ways and family configurations.  This book is a case in point.  Ms Rainier continues to grow in her writing expertise and yet there is always that sense of realism, of down home connection that all her books bring alive.  As always, it is a joy to experience her Divine, Texas people.

I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.

five-stars

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Guest Review: Brokenhearted Beauty by Heather Rainier

Posted March 3, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Brokenhearted Beauty by Heather RainierReviewer: Judith
Brokenhearted Beauty by Heather Rainier
Series: Divine Creek Ranch #19
Also in this series: Bunny and the Beast
Published by Siren Publishing
Publication Date: October 29th 2014
Genres: Erotica, Romance, Contemporary, m/f/m
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Brokenhearted and grieving, Leah Woodworth's heart is filled with regret for never confessing her love to Patterson Elder. His loss haunts her dreams and she can't set eyes on his brothers, James and Vincent without seeing his face. Having denied her attraction to them until it was too late, how can they possibly still want her?

James and Vincent were sure Leah was the one from the moment they met her. Patterson had always shared that belief, taking every chance to convince her that she was meant to be theirs. With Patterson gone, James and Vincent are deep in their own mourning and at a loss as to why Leah avoids them. When she is offered an opportunity that may take her permanently out of Divine, they realize time has run out and seize what may be the last chance they have to make her theirs forever. ** A Siren Erotic Romance

[Siren Menage Everlasting: Erotic Cowboy Menage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, HEA]

This is the 19th book in the Divine Creek Ranch series and Ms Rainier has nailed it again!  This story is built on happenings just previous to it and is also an emotional commentary on what it means to lose someone that is greatly loved due to their own foolishness.  Thus Leah lost the man she had come to love when he died from head trauma in a motorcycle accident because he wasn’t wearing his helmet.  The ripple effect of that horrible loss for Leah is what drives this story.  It is emotional, sad, riveting, and will keep the reader engaged as the story unfolds.  One of the saddest outcomes of Patterson’s death is Leah’s belief that her relationship with his brothers is now also never going to happen.  This is indeed a menage love story but throughout the tale there is woven the whole reality of what it means to work through the grieving process and heal from the loss of someone who could have survived if they had simply taken the time to be careful.  The hopelessness of that is a clear ingredient in Leah’s story.

I cannot say enough about how Ms Rainier has grown and matured in her writing and story telling abilities.  She manages to put her readers on the front row looking into the lives and feelings of her characters while assuring us that what is taking place is happening to people who are ordinary folks who are experiencing love and acceptance in surprising ways and extraordinary configurations.  The phenomenon of polyamory is growing in the United States and is now spoken about freely by many.  It is certainly not legally accepted but as has been demonstrated in many novels, there are ways to work around the legal ramifications.  James and Vincent were totally on board with Leah being their woman collectively even before Patterson’s death.  They have never wavered in their belief that she is theirs.  But all is not smooth sailing for these three and their story will pull at readers’ hearts and their tear ducts as well.  The sensitive and caring way Ms Rainier tells their story and puts this context together is, in large part, why this story works and why all of us who really like this series keep coming back for more.

This story has been around for a while but it is worth reading and enjoying.  It you haven’t met the folks of Divine, Texas, you are in for a treat.  Like all good romance fiction, this book will entertain as well as feed the imagination.  It is a splendid entertain as well as feed the imagination.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.

five-stars

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Guest Review: Divine Charity by Heather Rainier

Posted August 23, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s reDivine charityview of Divine Charity (Divine Creek Ranch #18) by Heather Rainier

Charity has adored Justin since he stole her heart twenty-two years ago, and together they’ve built a steadfast love. She’d do anything for him, except ask for her deepest desire, because the risk of hurting him is too great.

The day he claimed Charity’s heart, Justin swore he’d never share her love, but time has given him a new perspective. Despite her attempts to hide it, Justin knows Charity has always loved his cousins, Val and Ransome. Now older and wiser, he wants to give her the same fulfillment her sister Grace enjoys with the men she loves.

Seeing so many ménages in Divine gives Val and Ransome hope, and when fate offers them an opportunity, they seize the chance for a future with Charity. When an innocent victim from their past adventures reaches out to them, they provide safe haven, not knowing that doing so will ultimately place the woman they love in danger.

Those of us who have enjoyed the previous 17 books in this series are delighted to finally be able to enjoy the story of Grace Warner’s sister, Charity.  We met Charity in book one when she stood with Grace as she confronted the abusive man who she finally threw out of her house, and we cheered with Charity as Grace found her men–the loves of her life and her soul mates.  Now Charity is in the spotlight and we are treated to a more in-depth look at the long and loving relationship she has enjoyed with her husband of 22 years.  Charity and Justin are indeed married in their souls and hearts as well as their bodies and minds.  They have shared two children, have enjoyed their wild rides on motorcycles and have literally built a wonderful life together.  Yet as is so often the case, Charity’s heart is still bearing the holes of disappointment as she walked away from a menage with Justin and his two cousins, Val and Ransome.  For 22 years she has cherished that small hope in the deepest recesses of her heart but her love for her husband and her respect for him  and unwillingness to injure their relationship has kept her faithful to her present situation with Justin.

This is a story of unrequited love that has never died and the rekindling of that love after decades of being hidden.  It is also the continuing story of those folk of Divine, Texas, who have delighted us as we shared their stories and learned to love deeper and wider along with them.  Ms Rainier writes stories that challenge us to see human affection and relationship in different configurations and to believe that it is possible to live out one’s life in far different ways than society has blessed down through the ages.  She also brings her growing writing skills to telling a story that moves along consistently, filled with characters who interact with verve and vitality and humor, and whose loyalty to one another shows up whenever need arises.  There is a sense of community that has been forged by difficulty and terror, but hurt and disappointments and by people who have learned that they have the inner strength to live as their hearts lead them to live.  And this author brings them all alive in her books and this latest one is no exception.

Perhaps my liking this story so much is rooted in the fact that these four people have known and cared about each other for so long and that with patience and maturity their life paths have finally converged.  It is also good to experience fiction where the heroine has some milege and has lived in a strong relationship, has been a faithful life partner and a good mother to her children.  We all love to read about new love and second chances, but this story has the feel of something different, something very special, and that sense that a love that has lived long between Charity and Justin now has an opportunity to blossom and grow even more. Some of us who have lived awhile appreciate a tale that feature characters who are past the first blush of youth.  Ms Rainier has told their story with caring and a gentle hand.  It is also good to encounter men like Val and Ransome who have kept their love for Charity in a special place in their hearts as well, patiently hoping that some day Justin can feel secure in his relationship with her sufficiently so that he can open his heart to the possibility of expanding his marriage with his wife.

Heather Rainier is one of a short list of authors who are my all-time favorites and I am always delighted when she gives us another chapter in the Divine Ranch saga.  It is another terrific book and one that I can heartily recommend to readers who genuinely appreciate good romance fiction.

I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

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

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Guest Review: Lucy’s Revenge by Heather Rainier

Posted March 23, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

me-hr-dcr-lucysrevenge-fullJudith’s review of Lucy’s Revenge (Divine Creek Ranch #15) by Heather Rainier

Lucy Carter is striving to succeed as a self-employed licensed massage therapist and to bolster her flagging self-confidence. The ménage of her fantasies, featuring her best friends, seems to be on the back burner.

Single dad Patrick Owen has been refined in the fires of betrayal. Now he knows exactly what he wants—Lucy Carter—and he’s ready to claim her along his best friend.

Beekeeper Beck O’Malley’s heart has been shattered, and he withdraws from the world until Lucy heals his heart. He’s held the spirited woman at arm’s length, until he can no longer fight his attraction to her. Unfortunately, Beck and Lucy clash nearly as often as they kiss, and his possessiveness sets her on edge even as she falls deeper in love with him.

When Lucy is drawn into a life-threatening crisis, all of their differences and struggles are brought into perspective. But by then will it be too late?

This is the 15th story that features the intrepid lovers of Divine, TX and highlights the romantic relationship between Lucy Carter, sister to reknown tatoo artist Seth Carter, Beck O’Malley, whose long-term relationship with Chloe Rhodes is over, and Patrick Owen, ex-husband to the vigilante female who was bent on destroying the boutique Discretions and whose mania caused her to open fire on citizens in the town’s department store in front of her toddler son.  Now all three of these individuals find that their personal journeys have brought them to a common place but as in all of life’s realities, “the road to true love seldom runs smooth.”

These three people are wounded warriors from the “love wars.”  Lucy has been castigated and demeaned until she no longer sees the true beauty she possesses in her physical self or her inner spirit.  She has yearned for a relationship with Patrick and Beck, knowing full well that a menage is not uncommon in Divine but has been the subject of much narrow-minded judgmentalism in the past.  Yet she knows where her heart is leading her even though Beck, one of the men to whom she is attracted, seemingly has rejected her because of her plus size.   His “. . . you’re more woman than I can handle”remark  has pretty much crushed any hopes she might have had.  Patrick, Beck’s best friend and a different sort of man altogether, keeps encouraging her not to lose heart, not to allow Beck’s evident emotional turmoil discourage her hopes for the future.  And perhaps Patrick saw that down deep Lucy was the kind of woman who saw the best in people.  It was only herself she found hard to love.

If ever there was a patient man it was Patrick Owen.  He had gone far beyond anyone’s expectation in trying to be a good husband to his former wife in spite of her narrow-minded views that drove her to extremist activism.  He loves his son, Patrick Junior, even though he knows that the boy isn’t his biological son.  Lucy couldn’t have fallen in love with a better man–one that patiently worked to help Beck through his dark days and who never failed to encourage Lucy to grow beyond her insecurities.

Beck was a man whose spirit longed to be loved and accepted, who so hoped that Chloe was the woman who would complete his life and guard his heart.  Yet when she chose to refuse his marriage proposal and then left Divine soon after, his heart was crushed.  As if that weren’t enough, Chloe’s phone call on Valentine’s Day that she was engaged to two other men in Lusty, TX was just about the end for him.  Somehow Lucy’s insistence on remaining in his life, as a friend if nothing else, began to penetrate Beck’s deep sense of loss and it was her persistent friendship that eventually turned to attraction and then to love.  If ever there was evidence of the healing power of loving friendship, it was apparent in the way Lucy helped Beck regain his willingness to look toward the future with hope.

This is a story about a woman who slowly but surely came into her own, whose heart opened fully and freely to two very different men and to a little boy who came to love her dearly.    Patrick Junior, or PJ as he came to be called, loved the idea of a new mommy who really loved him and of having two daddies.  Lucy was willing to go to the mat to protect him and to insist that the love they shared was just as legitimate as any other expression of an authentic love relationship.  It is a story about the coming together of three hurting and wounded people who were willing to ultimately be who they were and live in a committed relationship for the sake of their love for one another as well as providing a sure and secure home for PJ.  It was wonderful to see each of them gaining new strength as they were supported and grounded in each other.

As always, Ms Rainier has that way to telling a story that constantly affirms the notion that genuine and authentic love is expressed in many ways and lived out in many configurations.  Her story telling abilities continue to grow and expand, and as the citizens of Divine, TX come alive in her stories we readers are the benefactors.  She has now ventured out into the Land of Lusty . . . Lusty, TX, that is, and the characters who enter as private detectives and the partial story of Chloe Rhodes’ connection to Divine is a part of the Lusty, TX series by Morgan Ashbury writing as Cara Covington.  (Those tales are super good, too.)  Those of us who have continued to be delighted with the Divine Creek Ranch Series are always waiting for the next story with bated breath and are never disappointed by the rich and multi-layered plots and story lines that Ms Rainier creates.  Perhaps my own personal joy in this as in all the other novels in this series is that I see a gifted writer using her gifts and blossoming in the doing.  Now that she is partnering with Ms Ashbury there are even greater benefits for us readers.  (I just finished the latest Lusty, TX story and was delighted to see some of the Divine folks there.)

All in all, this is just one fine piece of writing and is the kind of novel I love to read to the extent that I am always worried that it will end too soon.  I know that Heather keeps on expanding her word count, but hey! that’s perfectly alright with readers like me.  I especially appreciate her giving these three characters their own story, people who might have gotten “lost in the crowd” but whose relationship with one another has been and will continue to be the source of their greatest joy and in many ways their salvation.

I hope you Divine, TX fans will definitely read this latest book and if you are just joining in the Divine fan club, be sure to go back and start from the beginning.  Even some of us long-time fans have gone back and started over again.  I can say without any embarrassment that I have read all the books in this series at least twice.  Such good reading!  I happily give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

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

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Guest Review: Tiny Dancer by Heather Rainier

Posted April 11, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of Tiny Dancer (Divine Creek Ranch #13) by Heather Rainier

The day former exotic dancer Camilla O’Neal began working at The Dancing Pony, she told co-owner Ben Lawrence and head bartender Quinten Parks that “work is work and pleasure is pleasure” and she kept the two very separate. Working with their tiny dancer brings Ben and Quinten as much pain as pleasure. After two years of secretly lusting over and loving this blonde temptress, they have a plan.

Camilla goes about her job as assistant manager at The Dancing Pony with boundless energy in outfits designed to distract. Her plans for owning her own nightclub are a driving force within her. She’d left the world of stripping and pole dancing at a gentlemen’s club behind to pursue her dreams but finds Ben and Quinten an increasing distraction from her goals. Can she handle mixing business with pleasure when her men decide it’s time to claim her?

The Dancing Pony has figured prominently in all of the Divine Creek series and now it is the primary setting of a polyamorous love triangle that is a study in delayed gratification.  Certainly the heroine, former exotic dancer Camilly O’Neal, has more than sufficient reasons for wanting to establishing a strictly professional relationship with the two men who are her constant companions and with whom she has a close working situation.    Throughout this series The Dancing Pony has always been a club that enforces sane and safe entertainment, strictly enforcing good behavior and respectful behavior toward women and keeping violent encounters far removed from its premises.  So Camilla’s attitude does indeed fit into the kind of working environment that co-owner Ben Lawrence (together with Grace’s husband, Ethan) want to always maintain.  But for once, their almost overwhelming desire to begin a long-term relationship with Camilla is now in jeopardy.

This is another wonderful story set in the fictional community of Divine, Texas, populated by all kinds of people, many of whom live in committed polyamorous relationships.  It is also a community situated in what is fondly referred to as “the Bible Belt” so that such relationships are difficult for some to tolerate and that kind of prejudice has been featured in several of the Divine Creek novels.  However, these intrepid souls, those who know who they love and how they wish to live, seem to be determined to live according to their own rules, recognizing that love deserves to be expressed in as many ways as people can conceive, with the understanding that it is authentic, caring, nurturing, respectful and consensual.  This book really chronicles the ways that these two men support and nurture Camilla’s dream, knowing that giving her this dream may well be the path into her heart.

Best of all, the author’s writing skills just keep on growing and her capacity to tell a good story, evident from book one, keeps on keeping on.  It’s the kind of expertise that makes these stories come alive, that makes these characters leap off the page and assume almost realistic life of their own.  Those of us who have read all the novels and have re-read many of them, know that these people could easily exist in an American community.  Their lives, their loves, their challenges, their hurts and wounds, are the stuff of normal human living and bringing them alive in these books is done only by an author who has that sense of what people are really about, who lives in the moment and understands how people feel and how the expressions of those feelings can come alive even in a fictional work.  That’s one of the reasons I am always delighted when a new Heather Rainier book appears.

This novel was released at the end of 2012 but I hope you’ll get it and enjoy it as much as I did.  You owe it to yourself to get acquainted with these delightful people.

I happily give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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

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

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