Tag: Lori Wilde

Retro Review: Once Smitten, Twice Shy by Lori Wilde

Posted February 15, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Retro Review: Once Smitten, Twice Shy by Lori WildeReviewer: Holly
Once Smitten, Twice Shy by Lori Wilde
Series: Wedding Veil Wishes #2
Also in this series: Addicted to Love
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 14th 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Legend claims this antigue Irish wedding veil can grant your heart's deepest desire. But be careful what you wish for...
Wedding videographer Tish Gallagher is at the end of her rope. Her business is about to go bust. She's just spent her last buck on nonreturnable (but oh so fabulous) shoes. And her most sustainable relationship is with a pint of Haagen Dazs. So she makes a wish on the lucky wedding veil to get out of debt...and sees the man she never stopped loving, her ex-husband, secret service agent Shane Tremont. Sure, their chemistry was off-the-charts sizzling hot, but their clashes were legendary, and no amount of longing will change that.
When her dream job of recording the first daughter's wedding appears out of the blue, Tish knows it's her only shot to get out of the red. Just one teensy glitch: Shane is the groom. From the moment they see each other, she knows nothing's changed--the same old black magic is still between them, as irresistible and potent as ever. But he's promised to another and Tish has been burned before. Will she always be...ONCE SMITTEN, TWICE SHY?

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

I still have very fond memories of this series. I stopped reading Wilde some time back, but I often think back fondly on these books.

This review was originally published February 02, 2008

This is the second book in Lori Wilde’s Wedding Veil Wishes series. I didn’t read the first book, and don’t feel I missed anything by having skipped it. I think at some point I’ll pick it up, just because I like to read all the books in a series, but I never felt like I missed something while reading this book.

Shane has no idea what he was thinking to propose to the President’s daughter. But she’d caught him in a weak moment, staring at him like he was ten feet tall and bullet proof after he’d put his life on the line for hers. And now she’s concocted some scheme involving his ex-wife – the ex he still cares about more than he should.

Elysee knows Shane needs to make peace with the past if their marriage is going to work, so she hires Tish thinking they’ll be able to heal old wounds if they spend enough time together. But even she couldn’t have predicted just how much history there was between Tish and Shane, and just what they’d need to move past old hurts. And now she’s wondering if she made a grave mistake, because not only has she seen the looks the former couple pass between them, but she’s been getting some looks of her own, from her #1 bodyguard, Cal Ackerman.

I must confess, normally a story where one of the main protagonists is engaged to someone else would immediately turn me off. But in this case, it didn’t bother me a bit. I think the author did a fabulous job of writing an unconventional story that really worked.

This story is a somewhat predictable piece of fluff, but it was engaging and I really enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed it until close the the end, that is.

You see, Wilde did a fabulous job of keeping the focus on the main trio of characters. Elysee, Tish and Shane were shown in equal light, each with their own demons to battle and insecurities to overcome. I empathized with all three, understanding perfectly their personal issues. Shane, the wounded hero who just needed to be needed. Tish, the independent free spirit who needed someone to lean on. Elysee, the hopeless romantic who wanted nothing more than a knight in shining armor to sweep her away.

But then, more than 3/4 of the way through the book, a new element was introduced…that of a terrorist group who wanted to assassinate a woman who was trying to escape India. The thing is, there was nothing leading up to the sudden twist in the story. For almost the entire book, the focus remained on the three main characters and then BAM, all of a sudden Tish is being attacked and Shane needs to save her and Elysee is involved in an international rescue plot and there’s a murderer out to get them all. But..uh..I must have missed a memo, because that seriously came out of nowhere.

Despite that, however, I liked the book. I loved Tish and Shane together and I’m hopeful that Elysee will get a story of her own someday. Basically, buy this book for the romance, but don’t be surprised if it goes in a strange direction unexpectedly.

Even though I had a major issue with the latter half of the book, I’m still giving this:

4.5 out of 5

Because I really, really liked the rest of it.

The series:

There Goes the Bride
Once Smitten Twice Shy
Addicted to Love
All of Me

You can buy it here in paperback or here or here.

four-half-stars

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Guest Review: Smooth Sailing by Lori Wilde

Posted April 21, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Judith’s review of Smooth Sailing by Lori Wilde

Desperate to win back his ex, billionaire playboy Jeb Whitcomb spent a year in self-discipline and (mostly) celibacy. He’s a new man. But when she decides to marry someone else, Jeb immediately sets sail. He has only four days to stop the wedding and, worse still, he has a stowaway…the only woman who can make a newly good man behave very, very badly!

R.N. Haley French is furious. For one night, she lets go of her usual boring routine, and the next she knows she’s accidentally off to Florida with Mr. Sexy Superficiality, and desperately trying to forget the steamy encounter they almost shared.

And in the boat, there’s no escape from each other…or the unfurling lust that threatens to send their self-control overboard!

 
This is one of those stories that is rooted in a situation that is pretty serious yet manages to have so many opportunities for comedy.  It’s always a good thing when a man with too much money and too much time on his hands and too many willing women at his disposal decides to live responsibly and turn his life around, all for the love of a good woman.  However, in this case, the woman in question is marrying another man.  As an old time radio personality was known to comment:  “What a revoltin’ development this is!”
This story embraces a series of mishaps that puts the two main characters on a sailing vessel bound for Florida in the hopes that hero Jed can stop the wedding of the woman who precipitated his attitude and life changes.  But there is one really difficult issue playing out here:  the woman in question has consistently made it clear that she is not really interested in Jed.  Her final ploy at getting him out of her sphere was to give him big-time hell over his playboy lifestyle and her absolute refusal to get involved with any man who treated women as he did.  The other big issue in this story is his relentless and growing attraction to the other passenger on his sailing ship–a nurse with whom he has collided romantically, who gets his motor going seriously, and a woman whose sense of right and wrong keeps challenging him in ways he has resisted in the past.
I loved this story–the seeming impossibility of the relationship Jed was chasing with that sense of panic throughout the story, the intrepid Haley who kept reminding him of so  much about himself that he wanted to ignore, reminding him of so much about this relationship he was chasing he didn’t want to hear, and the sense of both of them hurtling toward a future that may or may not keep them together or be the source of deep emotional hurt.  It’s a fun read in the truest sense of the word by an author who keeps on giving us stories we enjoy in that way that deeply satisfying and likable stories do.  I think you’ll want to read and enjoy this one!

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

This book is available from Harlequin Blaze. 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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Guest Review: A Cowboy for Christmas by Lori Wilde

Posted October 30, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Tracy’s review of A Cowboy for Christmas (Jubilee, Texas series #3) by Lori Wilde

It’s Christmastime in Jubilee, Texas, but Lissette Moncrief is having a hard time celebrating . . .

Especially after she accidentally smashes her car into Rafferty Jones’s pick-up truck. Yes, he’s a whole lot of handsome—from the tips of his boots to the top of his Stetson. But he’s no Christmas present. Lissy’s not about to let herself get whisked away by his charming ways and words . . . only to watch him drive away in the end.

But what Lissy doesn’t know is Rafferty’s in town just to meet her—and to give her a share in a windfall that doesn’t rightly belong to him. At first, he just wants to do his good deed and get out. But one look at this green-eyed beauty has him deciding to turn this into a Christmas to remember . . . making promises he’s determined to keep—whether she believes in them or not.

Lissette is headed for a breakdown. Her soldier husband was killed in action 3 months ago and she’s just been told that her 2 year old son is, for the most part, deaf. She finally loses it a bit in the grocery store and when she’s in the parking lot ends up plowing into another truck. The man is kind and understanding and even tries to comfort her when she starts crying. When Lissy opens the door to her house a little bit later she’s shocked to see that the man who she crashed into is standing on her porch.

Rafferty Jones is Lissy’s dead husband’s half-brother. Lissy’s husband left his life insurance to Rafferty rather than his wife and since he died in Afghanistan doing something against orders Lissy received no survivor benefits. Rafferty, having just found out that he brother is dead drove to Texas from California to give Lissy the money as he feels she should have it. Lissy refuses the money (why, I’m still unclear about) but allows Rafferty to stay in the apartment of her garage. He ends up staying to train her late husband’s horse but he really stays because he’s sweet on Lissy. He knows he shouldn’t be but he can’t seem to help himself.

Lissy and Rafferty get along well, when she finally gives him a chance, and Lissy finds herself falling for Rafferty. She feels a bit guilty as she thinks she should be mourning her husband longer – even though their marriage was over long before his last re-enlistment. The guilt eats at both of them and they can’t be sure of what they’re feeling.

The story was a good one. I thought that Lissy, for all her troubles and financial woes, was a bit too proud. I think she should have taken the money –even if all she ever used it for was her son’s medical expenses. I did like that she wanted to be independent but there’s a point when you just can’t do it all yourself. I think she finally saw that by the end of the book.

Rafferty was a wonderful character. He was kind, understanding, trustworthy and well, hot. lol He really was trying to take care of Lissy but not in the smothering way that would make it seem like she didn’t have a brain in her head. For instance he was helping her set up a website. He took her ideas and did what she wanted – he was just the one with the html knowledge. He didn’t try to influence her or tell her that her ideas were wrong or bad as her husband would have. He was just that kind of guy.

There were also some issues with Lissy’ mother-in-law and Rafferty and the circumstances of his birth as well as conflict with Lissy’s family when it came to the “proper” way to have her deaf son learn communication. When it came to Lissy’s family I know this was added to show us how she was standing up for herself when she never had before but really I didn’t feel either issues was a core part of the story. I found them a bit superfluous.

In the end it was a good book. I didn’t read the first two books in the series but that presented no problems at all when reading this story. If you want a warm Christmas story then this one will probably work for you.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Avon. 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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What I Read Last Week

Posted October 22, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 4 Comments

Another week goes by – how do they keep happening so quickly? lol

This week was pretty interesting. I had lunch with a couple of friends that I hadn’t seen for a while which was nice. My youngest went to a Halloween/birthday costume party and had a great time, and had a bit of a family thing with my hubby’s side of the family for his dad’s 75th birthday. Lots of fun. I have pictures but I left my phone at home today (I know, how could I have DONE that?) so I’ll post them later.

I managed to buy a used Kindle and have it delivered. I was so damned excited because I only had to be without an ereader for 4 days! YAY! lol Unfortunately I was emailing the company the next day asking them how I can return it. It’s screwed up – defective battery, freezing on me, home screened jacked up – I’m sad again. On the bright side I then bought a used one straight from Amazon and it will come with a warranty (too bad I hadn’t figured that out before I bought the other one – hindsight and all that) and hopefully that will be here by the end of the week. I only had an ereader back for a day so my week went boo, YAY, boo. lol Being without an ereader is HARD!

On to what I read this past week:

I started off the week with my TBR Challenge review book I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long – book 4 in the Pennroyal Green series. This was a wonderful story that takes place mostly on a ship – which I love. You can read my full review here. 5 out of 5

Next up was Charmed by His Love by Janet Chapman – a book that I read for Book Binge. This is the story of a widowed mother of 4, Peg, who is on her last penny but things start looking up when a local resident starts building a resort nearby and have to use her gravel pit. The man negotiating the gravel contract, Duncan McKeage, ends up falling in love with the woman but not before he saves her from many accidents and finds his own power – literally. This was a very cute story that I enjoyed reading. I liked Duncan a lot and loved that he fell in love with Peg’s children as much as with her. 3.5 out of 5

Next up was Unraveled by Courtney Milan. I could swear that I had finished the Turner Brothers series but apparently not. I can’t believe I didn’t read this one before as it was FABULOUS. The story is about Smite Turner who is a magistrate and is called – unkindly – Lord Justice. He listens to everyone and takes the cases that come before him seriously – unlike his fellow magistrates. He doesn’t let class skew his judgment. He sees a woman in his court who he’s seen before but she is in disguise. When he confronts her she runs but he finds her and he ends up asking her to be his mistress. Smite is a tortured soul and Miranda soothes him. It was an amazing story that I can’t possibly even summarize well but it’s definitely worth reading – so good. 5 out of 5

A Cowboy for Christmas by Lori Wilde is the story of Lissette who was recently widowed and just found out that her 2 year old is almost completely deaf – with no hope for a reversal. She’s depressed and the stress is making her crazy. Her husband left his life insurance money to a half brother that Lissy didn’t even know existed so she’s nearing her last bit of money. Rafferty Jones is the half brother who just found out that his brother is dead as he’s been out of the country. He heads to Texas to give Lissy the money as he feels that his brother should have left it to her instead. Rafferty and Lissy don’t exactly hit it off initially but soon they become friends and start something more. There are some issues that need to be dealt with but really it’s the issue of – is this really love or is it just because we’re mourning together? Good story. 3.75 out of 5

Last for the week was The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux. This is the story of a bar called Gravedigger’s Tavern and it’s employees – as well as 2 men who work at a local museum. I’ll post my review in a couple of days so keep your eyes open for that.

My Book Binge Reviews that posted this past week:
Because of You by Cathy Maxwell

Happy Reading!

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TBR Challenge Review: Real Men Do It Better Anthology by Carrie Alexander, Susan Donovan, Lora Leigh & Lori Wilde

Posted August 15, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

This month in the TBR Challenge we were instructed (ok, it was only suggested) to read an erotic novel. I found that I really don’t have many of those hanging around. Sure there are some on my flash drive with all my ebooks but quite frankly I was too damned lazy to go searching. Lol I saw this book on my shelf and realized that when I originally got it in 2008 I only read Lora Leigh’s novella. I decided that since it said, right on the cover, “four steamy novellas” that it would qualify for this challenge. So here are my thoughts about whether real men really do make it better.

In Carrie Alexander’s HIS BODY ELECTRIC, an aloof stranger arrives at Karen Jaffe’s farmhouse seeking shelter at the height of a violent lightning storm. Strange events follow–the power goes out, every clock stops, sparks fly from the visitor’s fingertips. Alone in the dark with him, Karen uses her skills as a phone sex operator to seduce the mystery man, uncovering the secrets and erotic pleasures of HIS BODY ELECTRIC.

Karen is on her Iowa farm when the skies open up and the rain pours down. Thunder and lightning accompany the storm and Karen rushes to get the animals in the barn. On the way back she runs into a stranger who is seeking shelter from the storm. He’s a bit odd but oh so cute and since she’s been by herself for so long she’s kind of got sex on the brain. Keeping her hands off of Gabe is pretty difficult and eventually they give in to their attraction in an electrifying way.

This was a pretty darned cute novella. I really liked how the story was laid out and the way the author had the couple getting to know each other a bit before falling into bed together. Ok, it wasn’t like they knew each other for long, really only hours before they made their move, but it worked for this erotic novella. There was a little bit of the unusual in this one but it worked.

In Susan Donovan’s BED AND BREAKFAST, a stressed-out corporate dynamo with designer boots and a bad attitude is sent to the New Mexico mountains to “get centered” or not come back to Los Angeles. She arrives at the rustic Windwalker Lodge north of Santa Fe, only to find the place in the middle of a renovation and the hunky owner in a pair of lounge pants with no shirt and no idea she was coming. She plans to leave on the first available shuttle the next morning, but one of the area’s notorious rains washes out the bridge, and she’s stuck. Though resistant at first, she eventually lets the beautiful setting and the extraordinary man give her a new perspective on life, love, and especially sex.

Kate is having a bad life. Seriously, it has been one hit after another and she needs to de-stress. Her boss sends her to a retreat in new Mexico to relax and “find herself.” She’s nothing but bitchy when she gets dropped off at 1 am and when she’s not immediately let in and continues that way for a couple of days. She soon finds out that her assistant got the dates mixed up and she’s a month late for her planned pilgrimage. Oops. Jorey lets her stay the night (on his bed since all the guest rooms are being remodeled and are demolished) but when a rain storm keeps Kate at the lodge she finds that there’s more to finding herself then she thought. She’s also found a man she could love but how will that work when she lives in LA?

This was another cute novella that had a bitchy heroine to start. She soon got to relax and get a bit centered but it takes her a bit to get to that point. When it did happen it was almost too extreme but I could see how it might happen in reality. Jorey, our hero, is someone who was living the same kind of fast-paced life as Kate was when reality hit him in the face with a medical issue a few years back. Now he runs the lodge and is more than happy with his life. I think what I liked about Jorey was that even though he was more spiritual/fruit and nut (if that makes any sense) than I normally like in my heroes he accepted Kate for who she was. Of course he wanted her at peace, but he didn’t try to push his ways on her too much. He was a caring and sensitive man while still being quite manly. You gotta love that in a hero.

In Lora Leigh’s FOR MAGGIE’S SAKE, Maggie Chavez from Leigh’s sexy Navy SEALs series is in protective custody with a member of her former lover’s SEALs team. Joe, her ex-lover, thinks Maggie is hiding information from him about a powerful drug lord and the deaths of some SEALs. He intends to seduce her and get the information before she can sell it back to the drug cartel. But when a member of the notorious crime family captures Maggie and holds her hostage at gunpoint, Joe realizes how wrong he is, and only he can save her life.

Joe and Maggie were lovers at one point. Because of a misunderstanding, and some stupidity on Joe’s part, they parted ways and Maggie ended up married to Joe’s best friend Grant. Now this is a novella that is part of the Tempting SEALS series and apparently Grant was a bad guy – now he’s dead. He wrote journals and in those journals he completely implicated Maggie as being part of his criminal activities. Now she’s under suspicion from the police and the bad guys are after her thinking she knows too much. Joe ends up taking her to a safe house and while there the pair work out their differences.

I read this novella in 2008 and frankly I could remember about 3 pages of it near the end. Lol I kept thinking, I read this? Really? When I got to those 3 pages a switch flipped in my head my memories came back. 🙂

While they’re at the safe house they finally start talking about their past. They argue and argue and they both see that they’ve made mistakes. I liked how we saw Joe coming off his high horse a bit as he thought he’d done nothing wrong and that their breakup had pretty much all been Maggie’s doing. Of course they end up sleeping together and working things out but they have to go through some hard times, including facing death, to come to their HEA. The story was more intense than I was expecting after reading the first two books in the anthology but it was good. You gotta appreciate Leigh’s alpha males but this one wasn’t such an ass and I liked that. Maggie was a bit whimpier than I expected a man like Joe to be in love with but she had been through hell with her husband so I cut her a little slack. lol

In Lori Wilde’s SIREN’S CALL, Annie Grave is back in her hometown, St. Augustine, looking after her grandfather’s dive shop as he lies bedridden with a broken hip. Though she is a Harvard MBA with a high-powered finance job in Manhattan and a boyfriend on the brink of proposing marriage, she’s never forgotten her first love, sun-bronzed dive instructor Duncan Stewart–or the day years earlier when she lost her virginity to him and he told her it was just a fling. But what she doesn’t know is that Duncan has regretted that decision every day since. Afraid of not being able to hold onto a smart, sexy, beautiful woman like Annie, he pushed her away and ran away from St. Augustine. But now she’s back, and so is he, and he’s cooked up a plan to win her back. After all, what girl could resist the lure of buried treasure, and a hot, handsome Scotsman to guide her on the hunt?

Duncan and Annie met when he was 16 and she was 13. Even though Duncan liked Annie immediately he didn’t do anything about it. They became friends and over the years Duncan planned to make himself a better man and then make his move on Annie. When they eventually sleep together Duncan realizes that he’s holding her back and hurts her in order to make her live the life that she should, instead of giving up college to stay with him.

Annie has been hurting for 5 years after Duncan’s betrayal of her feelings. Now he’s back and says that he has a treasure map to a legendary idol that her parents died searching for. Annie tells herself that she wants nothing to do with the man and she’s practically engaged to a nice man back in New York, but she can’t seem to keep herself away. For Duncan this is a plan to finally get Annie where he wants her – in his bed and in his life – permanently. If he has to use an idol that is supposedly an aphrodisiac to get her, he’ll do it.

This was a lovers united story but since Duncan had hurt Annie so much she wasn’t exactly thrilled with his return to town. Now secretly she’s in love with him but is unwilling to face being hurt again. Duncan didn’t exactly go about getting Annie back in the most honest way – ok, it wasn’t honest at all, but he was so desperate that he’d try just about anything to get her back in his life. It was a cute story and definitely hot – the hottest in the anthology, imho.

Actually the Alexander, the Leigh and the Wilde were all pretty steamy in different ways. The Donovan had sex involved but it wasn’t anywhere near as erotic as the others. Overall I liked all the stories in their own way. They each brought a different view of erotic romance to the table and I found them all to be good stories.

Overall Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Carrie Alexander
Susan Donovan
Lora Leigh
Lori Wilde

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