Tag: Jane Graves

Review: Cowboy Take Me Away by Jane Graves.

Posted May 14, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Cowboy Take Me Away (Rainbow Valley #1) by Jane Graves.

Hero: Luke Dawson
Heroine: Shannon North

FIRST LOVE BURNS HOTTER

Rainbow Valley, Texas, has always been a refuge for animals, and Shannon North, director of the local shelter, intends to keep it that way. But with donations drying up and more pets in need of a loving home than ever before, Shannon’s beginning to fear she’s not the savior the shelter needs. When a tall, dark, and handsome cowboy from her past comes to the rescue, she knows that accepting his help may come with a high price: her heart.

THE SECOND TIME AROUND

Bad boy Luke Dawson shook the dust from this little town off his boots years ago. He walked away from everything…except the memory of the one night of passion he shared with Shannon. Now, a few wins away from becoming the world bull-riding champion, Luke’s headed for fame and fortune. But then a crisis calls him back to Rainbow Valley, and Luke is reunited with the good girl who stole–and broke–his heart. As their rekindled relationship deepens into desire, old secrets resurface, and Luke must choose between the future he’s always dreamed of and the only woman he’s ever loved.

I’ve read a couple of books by Jane Graves and I really enjoyed them so when I started this book, I had high expectations.  I was expecting more of the same but this was different.  Instead of taking place in the city, this took place in a small town and while I did enjoy it, it’s not my favorite from this author.

This story follows Luke Dawson back to Rainbow Valley where he’s there to bury his old man.  There’s no love lost between Luke and his father and there wasn’t anyone in attendance for his father’s funeral and Luke was a-okay with that.  There were only two people that he thought cared for him in that town and as the funeral is coming to an end, one of those two people showed up.  The other person broke his heart and was the main reason why he skipped town when he was 18.  She didn’t show to the funeral either.

Shannon North remembers Luke Dawson as the one guy in the entire world that could make her breathless from just a look.  He was the only guy that ever meant anything to her and she missed him when she left.  Now, she’s kind of/sort of seeing this dentist guy that is nice but doesn’t make her feel anything more than …nice.  And when Luke Dawson comes storming back into her life, she knows that things are about to get shaken up.

Luke gets hurt while in Rainbow Valley so he needs to stick close to physical therapy and that means staying in Rainbow Valley longer than he thought he would.  Being back isn’t doing him any favors since everyone still thinks he’s that badboy who terrorized everyone and everything in his teen years but he’s changed.  He’s grown up and he’s not that same pissed off little boy and this was the part of the book that I really liked.  I liked seeing everyone’s opinion of him change during his time back in Rainbow Valley and I really liked seeing Shannon finally stand up to her Mom.  That was a long time coming.

But I guess for me, the book started off slow and I spent a great deal of time waiting for things to pick up.  And they just kind of plopped along, getting a sigh out of me every once in a while.  I mean, while I liked the characters and the story while I was reading it, none of them really jumped out at me and grabbed me by the throat and made me love the heck out of them.  I wanted to and when the book ended, I thought it was good but that’s about it.  It was a good story with good characters but it wasn’t my favorite book by Graves.  I liked it well enough to be curious about the next book though.  Mark Cordero gets his own book and that one seems pretty interesting so I will be checking it out.

Grade: 3 out of 5

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

eBook Sale: Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves for $3.99

Posted August 21, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Jane Graves is a favorite of ours here at Book Binge. If you’re looking for smart, fun contemporary romances, Graves always delivers. One of my favorites of hers (read my review here) is on sale for a limited time in e-format.

Tall Tales and Wedding Veils is the first book by Graves I ever read, and I was hooked. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to buy it.

Accountant Heather Montgomery is a planner. So never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d run into sexy charmer Tony McCaffrey in Vegas, play lady luck, and celebrate his jackpot with a champagne-soaked night. And she certainly never expected to wake up the next morning married! How could this good girl pick a man whose fridge is empty and whose apartment is a disaster zone, yet still drives her so crazy with lust she can’t see straight?
Quickly hitched and happily ditched, Tony can’t wait to get back to his playboy ways. But when Heather’s family is thrilled that their no-nonsense daughter is finally in love, he proposes a plan: stay married for a month to repay his good luck charm, even though she sterilizes his toothbrush and forbids anything between the sheets. But Heather is more than he bargained for–a sharp-witted, passionate woman who just might turn his near miss into wedded bliss!

This book is available from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Guest Review: Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves

Posted March 12, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Tracy’s review of Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves

A good girl can be bad for one night… Bernadette Hogan doesn’t make mistakes. Not when it comes to caring for her mother, and not at her job protecting Texas’s most eligible–and infuriating–bachelor. Maybe that’s why she’s overcome with guilt after one tiny indiscretion: a passionate fling with her boss that’s left her confused, intrigued…and pregnant, but can a bad boy be good for a lifetime?

To self-made millionaire Jeremy Bridges, women are like fine wine: if held for too long, they sour. But one wild night with Bernadette changed all that. She makes him laugh, she makes him think, and soon she’s going to make him a father. For the first time, Jeremy wants to be a one-woman man. So how can he convince the fiercely independent Bernadette he’s ready to change from partying playboy to dependable dad–and become the loving husband she deserves?

Bernie is Jeremy’s bodyguard. She dresses in an understated way in order to divert attention from herself and to blend into a crowd and since she’s no raving beauty her mode of dress doesn’t exactly flatter her. She finds herself split in her thoughts about Jeremy. On one hand she finds him attractive and on the other she is disgusted with his playboy attitude and his constant picking up of blond bimbos (as she thinks of them.) Jeremy likes having Bernie as his bodyguard and verbally spars with her on a regular basis. He really doesn’t notice her at all except to think that she’s just Bernie – nothing special in the looks department.

After a robbery attempt Bernie and Jeremy end up in the safe room in his house waiting for the all clear from the police. Bernie had tried to warn Jeremy that the woman he was taking home seemed suspicious and not necessarily just after Jeremy’s body but NOOOO, Jeremy ignores her and they end up being shot at. Bernie, who is normally the calm, cool and collected one finally pops. She is madder than she’s ever been and not only quits her job but starts telling Jeremy exactly what she thinks of him. They end up having good ole anger fueled sex and lo and behold…Bernie ends up pregnant.

Bernie has to confront Jeremy about the pregnancy which she doesn’t want to do. She goes to great pains to try to get him to sign legal documents giving up his rights to the child, but Jeremy surprises her and refuses to sign. She is shocked – especially when Jeremy starts to show that he does care about something other than business and sex. Bernie gets to see a whole new side of Jeremy and what she sees she likes but his controlling nature and over protectiveness just might send her over the edge.

Black Ties and Lullabies gives us the tried and true premise of the one night stand getting pregnant and the baby parents having to deal with not only the impending birth but the fact that they are now joined in some way…forever. This story, however, gave us a different little twist in that Bernie is just not your typical woman. She is ex-military and is lethal. She’s never been a girly girl, much to her mother’s dismay, and she just never even thought about pregnancy. Maybe in her dreams she thought of husband and family but never really thought it could happen as she just wasn’t the type. I liked that we got to see this tough but sensitive woman learning how to deal with all of the ins and outs of pregnancy and what happens after the baby’s born.

Jeremy was kind of an ass. We find that a lot of his assedness and controlling attitude was due to his upbringing by an alcoholic father but he contributed quite a lot to it himself…at the beginning of the book. I very much enjoyed seeing Jeremy come to terms with the fact that he was going to be a father. He was scared. Thinking that he could screw things up with his own kid really made him try to be a better person and growth is something I always enjoy seeing in my characters. I also liked the humor that Bernie and Jeremy’s characters had. The sarcasm as well as laugh out loud funny parts were a bonus.

While the story isn’t fast paced it did have a consistency to it that I loved. I didn’t think there was really a slow part to it, it just kept being a good book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

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

What I Read Last Week

Posted March 12, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 15 Comments

Good Morning!
Did you all have a nice weekend? I know for me the time change made yesterday the shortest day ever! I have no idea where the time went!
So…the refrigerator? Not purchased yet. Can you believe it? I finally decided which fridge to get and my hubby is now not sure that’s the one he wants. Wait, you said choose between these two and you’d be happy either way. What happened to that? lol He now wants the opposite fridge from the one I picked. Why? Because the one he wants has a bottom freezer bar that lifts when you pull it. I shit you not that’s why he wants the fridge. I said, “Um, hon, you know on the other one where the bar doesn’t lift? That one doesn’t lift and the freezer still opens!  It’s amazing! And we save $800.00!” (Granted it’s a larger fridge so you pay for that too be STILL!) So, we’re at an impasse and hopefully we’ll figure it out this week. *sigh*
I’ve been thinking about getting pictures of the girls for a while and finally went and did it. I realized that the only pictures I’d gotten of them for years (other than the ones I take which are crap) are their school pictures. I needed some with them together and boy am I glad I did. These turned out better than expected and I’m so happy. I have a ton of other poses but these are definitely my favorites. I have to say, they clean up well, don’t they?
So what did I read this week?
I started the week with Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves. This one I read for The Book Binge so will let you know when my review posts. The book is about a multi-millionaire and his female bodyguard. She’s rough and tumble and not girly at all. He goes for the sexy blondes with huge…attributes. They end up having anger sex and she ends up pregnant. The story is about both of them coming to terms with being parents and eventually realizing that they love the other. I had a few issues with this one but overall all a pretty good story. 3.5 out of 5
Next was Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler. Also read for The Book Binge. The story followed a pack of Dire wolves – the last of their kind – and the head of their pack who meets a human and realizes she his mate. She ends up being half dire wolf as she is actually the daughter of one of the pack. The pack also fights for humanity against evil witches. This one I had a ton of issues with. I liked the premise and what the story was trying to achieve but the story itself didn’t work for me. 2 out of 5
On Thin Ice by Jessica Lee was my next read. I’ll be reviewing this one this week so keep your eyes peeled. 🙂
Blame it on Bath by Caroline Linden is another I’ll be reviewing this week so watch for that one as well.
Defying the Odds by Kele Moon was next. I read a few reviews of this book a while back so decided to try it out. The story is about Melody who has divorced her abusive husband and is now trying to make a life for herself in a new town. She’s a waitress and buys Clay a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. That pie leads to the two falling in love but the story of how it happens is really great. Now some folks had an issue with the fact that she came from an abusive relationship but had no problem with the fact that Clay was a UFC and he was a big muscular man. I personally didn’t have a problem with this at all. Her husband had not been a muscular man and had come off as charming when he was really a snake. Clay was huge and not too talkative (at first) but he had a heart of gold. It just showed us that it really doesn’t matter what’s on the outside – it the good or evil that’s inside. I did have a problem with the hick speak.  It tended to get old especially with the multitude of “ain’t’s” that were being thrown around. Good book. 4 out of 5
Last for the week was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week: Concubine by Jill Knowles. This is the story of Korai, a country at war with Zandria, a neighboring country. One of the princes of Korai, Kael, doesn’t understand the reasons his father the king let the original dispute get to the point of war – especially since Korai ended up with a lot of casualties. Kael’s father meets with the king of Zandria and gives certain things to Zandria as a type of penance and shocks Kael to death when he gives HIM to the Warlord of Zandria…who is a man! gasp! Oh, and half demon. Kael is rightly pissed but soon realizes that he’s not all that opposed to sex with Taren, the warlord. The story is about Kael and Taren’s relationship but also Kael coming to terms with who he is now that he’s a concubine and the love/hate that he feels for his father for putting him in that position and knowing he can never return to his country. There’s also a subplot of suspense of someone trying to kill Kael. I enjoyed this book so much. This was BDSM lite set in a fantasy world and almost everything about it just worked for me. The emotion, the eroticism…man! It was really good and one I would definitely recommend. 4.5 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

Review: Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves

Posted November 2, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves.

HE’S THE MAN OF HER DREAMS . . .

In a world full of frogs, Alison Carter is determined to find her prince. Maybe her dating past is more Titanic than Love Boat, but she’s seen enough happy marriages to know that true love is possible. No matter what, she won’t give up on happily-ever-after. If she can’t find Mr. Right, she’ll simply hire someone who can.

SHE JUST DOESN’T KNOW IT YET

When Brandon Scott inherits a successful matchmaking business, he thinks his prayers have been answered. Set up a few lonely ladies, collect the fee, how hard can it be? No one needs to know he’s not really a professional matchmaker-especially not his first client, the beautiful, spirited Alison. Soon he’s falling for her-and her dreams of kids and carpools. But Alison is getting close to figuring out his secret, and if she learns he’s deceived her too, she’ll walk right out the door, taking Brandon’s heart with her.

This was a well written contemporary romance with a silly plot. Unfortunately I didn’t understand the desperation of the heroine to get married and start a family, so the storyline fell flat for me. I did enjoy parts of the story and the characters away from the plot. Sadly there wasn’t a lot that didn’t center around her need to find a man.

Alison thinks her boyfriend of several months is getting ready to propose marriage. Instead he proposes a threesome with her best friend. Disgusted and disillusioned, Alison decides to try a matchmaker to find her the man of her dreams. She’s 30 and her biological clock isn’t just ticking, it’s about to blow up. She’s running out of time. When she arrives at the office of what she expects to be a kindly old woman, she instead finds that the woman has passed away and her grandson is taking over the business. She’s skeptical, but he talks her into signing up with him.

Brandon isn’t really interested in taking over his grandmother’s matchmaking business. He has a line on a construction deal and wants to use the matchmaking as a way to raise the capital he needs for that. As soon as he has his portion required for the investment, he plans to cut and run. Not that he’s telling Alison that. He figures it can’t be too hard to find her a man, especially with all his grandmother’s files at his disposal.

He didn’t plan on feeling an increasing attraction to her. The more time he spends with her, the more he realizes he could be just the man she’s looking for…if only his secret wasn’t hovering in the background, casting a shadow over them both.

Although there were some amusing scenes involving Alison’s awful dates, as the story wore on and they became increasingly over the top, I started to get impatient. Not only with the story, but with Alison herself. She was a bright, intelligent woman. She had a strong career, close friends and a wonderful relationship with her father. While I understood her desire to have a husband and children, I couldn’t understand the level of her desperation. 30 is still young. She had plenty of time to find someone and get married. You would have thought she was 40 the way she carried on.

The stink of her desperation tainted the entire story for me. Even the sweet, amusing scenes between her and Brandon smelled in the end, because her desire for a wedding ring and a baby overshadowed their love story. Even his plotting behind her back to take off for parts unknown started looking good in the face of her desperate need for a man.

Still, I did believe in the HEA in the end, and much of the story amused me. I’m going to give this a 3.5 and chalk it up to the premise not being my cuppa.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format.