Tag: Military

Guest Review: Until Death by Cynthia Eden

Posted July 5, 2016 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Until Death by Cynthia EdenReviewer: Jen
Until Death by Cynthia Eden
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When Ivy DuLane witnesses a murder during the madness of Mardi Gras, she enters a deadly cat and mouse game with the killer. The city has gone wild with the annual celebration, and Ivy has to rely on sexy homicide detective—and her ex-lover—Bennett Morgan for help.

But with every moment that passes, the killer grows bolder, and the body count starts to rise.  It soon becomes very hard to tell the innocent from the guilty…especially since Bennett is keeping dark secrets of his own.

Ivy DuLane is a private investigator in Mobile, Alabama who sees a woman being stabbed during the city’s Mardi Gras parade. As she gets involved with the case, she also comes in contact with Detective Bennett Morgan, her past love who has returned to town after many years. When it appears that the murder is not a solitary occurrence and that it is related to Ivy somehow, the two have to work together to figure out what is going on as well as come to terms with their past.

I enjoy Eden’s writing, but most of her heroes are definitely the alpha-iest of all the alphas. Bennett is certainly bossy and gruff, though not quite as obnoxious as some of her other heroes, which I appreciated. He judges Ivy pretty harshly as a spoiled princess who doesn’t understand anything about how hard life can really be. Of course, a lot has happened in Ivy’s life since she and Bennett had dreamed of a life together, and she is much tougher and savvier than he realizes. I enjoyed seeing her prove him wrong. Those of you who like second chance love stories, this will fit the bill. Poor Ivy and Bennett were drive apart by others and by their own insecurities, and it’s a little painful to read about. There is a lot of hurt and mistrust to work through, but their mutual attraction continues to draw them both and eventually open a path to reconciliation. Don’t think there is going to be a ton of heartfelt conversation, though. Ivy and Bennett talked enough to satisfy me, but just barely. 

The mystery plot was overly complicated, I thought, but it did keep me guessing and interested until the end. Ivy has a complex and painful family history that comes into play here. Her brother has a particularly heartbreaking role in this book, and he doesn’t really get his own happy ending. While it’s not filled with gore, it is kind of dark and sad at times.

This is a solid if not exceptional romantic suspense with some good sexual chemistry and a plot that will keep you guessing.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

three-half-stars


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Lightning Review: Willing by Lucy Monroe

Posted March 17, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Willing by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
Willing by Lucy Monroe
Series: Mercenary Trilogy #2
Also in this series: And Able
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Publication Date: August 1st 2008
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Meet three sexy men who individually are Ready, Willing, and Able to go the distance--and together, are unstoppable. . .
Josie McCall left her dad's mercenary school for a normal job in computers. But now that someone has torched the school and her dad is MIA, Josie's going to use every bit of her training to hunt down the culprits who took him. Josie knows a lot about explosives, hand-to-hand combat, and tracking. What she doesn't know about is sex. She has no idea what to do with the volcanic attraction she feels for her dad's new partner, Daniel Black Eagle. And that feels more dangerous than any bomb. . .
Daniel knows exactly what he'd like to do about that attraction. He can't get within five feet of Josie without wanting to touch, taste, and protect her. But right now he's got his hands full figuring out who set that bomb and took Josie's dad. Daniel's sure of one thing, though--he's not letting Josie McCall out of his sight for a single second. . .

Willing is the second book in Lucy Monroe’s Mercenary series and I loved it. Willing was hot, steamy, romantic and action packed. Monroe is really good at getting into the technical side of things without boring her readers.

Josie is tough, but still very vulnerable. I loved that she was one of the best trained mercs in the business but still very feminine. My heart went out to her when she was talking about how hard it was to grow up with a father who demanded she be a better soldier than all the rest.

It also broke my heart to hear about Daniel’s past. His upbringing was sad and violent and I just wanted to wrap him up in cotton and keep him safe.

Overall a very enjoyable read.

3.25 out of 5

The series:

Merry Christmas Baby: Silver Bella (anthology)
Three Brides for Three Bad Boys
Ready
Willing
And Able

 

*This review was originally published at Sanctuary’s Finest

three-stars


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Exclusive Excerpt: All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy

Posted April 23, 2014 by Holly in Promotions | 0 Comments

When Viv and Elle decided to collaborate on a series, they knew it had to be fun, sexy, and most importantly, unique. Since there’s nothing sexier than military heroes, that part was a no-brainer. But what would these hot soldiers do? There are so many books already out there about ex-military men starting up private security firms—but Viv and Elle don’t follow trends…they set them. So, they thought, what can these former soldiers be doing that nobody will ever expect?

 And with that, DreamMakers was born.

Check out book 1 in the series, ALL FIRED UP, now available in digital and print! (only $0.99!!)

afu

 

He’s ready to lead the way

Parker Wilson never thought he’d go from battle-hardened soldier to romance expert, but after his stint in the Rangers, that’s exactly what happened. As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., he helps other men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. When a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of passion, Parker’s mission becomes more personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.

 She’s more than willing to follow

Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s just ditched her boring almost-boyfriend and is tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.

Exclusive Excerpt:

~~**~~

Parker moved to the bench, settling beside Lynn. He was still examining her on the sly when she turned and he caught the first glimpse of her face close-up. Smooth olive-toned skin. Full lips that were both perfectly bitable and a lickable licorice-red that seemed to be her natural coloring. Cheekbones he wanted to stroke with his fingers, but her eyes were what trapped him. Long lashes fluttered open to reveal pupils of an icy pale blue, like the inner core of a glacier. Unique and glorious.

She straightened, and those delectable lips twitched into a full smile. “Hi.”

Parker couldn’t look away. “Hi.”

My God, he had seen his share of beautiful women, in and out of their clothes, but he’d never before had a gut-punch reaction like falling into Lynn Elizabeth Davidson’s eyes. They were mesmerizing. He was damn near holding his breath, hoping she would blink so he could see her lashes sweep up and down again.

Her smile faded slightly. She cleared her throat. “Are you okay?”

A rapidly rising obsession shouted in his brain, commanding he wrap his fingers around her neck and pull her firmly against him so he could prove he was far better than okay, especially for someone like her.

~~**~~

About the Authors:

vivian arendVivian Arend in one word: Adventurous. In a sentence: Willing to try just about anything once. That wide-eyed attitude has taken her around North America, through parts of Europe, and into Central and South America, often with no running water.

Her optimistic outlook also meant that when challenged to write a book, she gave it a shot, and discovered creating worlds to play in was nearly as addictive as traveling the real one.  Now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of both contemporary and paranormal stories, Vivian continues to explore, write and otherwise keep herself well entertained.
Website: www.vivianarend.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/vivianarend
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivianarend
Newsletter: www.bit.ly/1f0Bcgk 

elle kennedyA RITA-award nominated author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently publishes with Signet Eclipse, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and Samhain Publishing. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Website: http://www.ellekennedy.com/about-
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ellekennedy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElleKennedy
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1iVjr6T

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | All Romance eBooks

 

 


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Review: Back to You by Jessica Scott

Posted January 17, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Back to You by Jessica ScottReviewer: Holly
Back to You by Jessica Scott
Series: Coming Home #3
Also in this series: Back to You
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: July 29th 2014
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

"Jessica Scott is an exciting new voice in romantic fiction who bursts upon the scene with an unputdownable debut novel!"--Robyn Carr, New York Times Bestselling Author on Because of You
He's in for the fight of his life . . .
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again...until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs ...if she'll have him
. . . to win back his only love.
Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?
(85,000 words)

 

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this story since I read the first book in the series. Trent fascinated and frustrated me in the previous books and I wanted to explore the mystery of him.

Laura and Trent have been through a lot of years of marriage and a lot of deployments together. Laura figured she’d be able to stand by Trent no matter what. As the years drag on and Trent pulls farther and farther away from her and their two children, she starts wondering if they can make it. When trouble starts brewing during Trent’s latest deployment and he freezes her out, Laura really struggles to hold it together. When she finds out he’s volunteered for every deployment and lied to her about it, then gets charged with sexual misconduct, she’s done. Though she doesn’t want to be the wife who gives up on her man, she just can’t take anymore and files for divorce.

The last thing Trent wants is to lose his wife, but he has no idea how to open up to her. He can’t share the horrors of war with her, or the guilt he feels whenever he’s at home with his loving family and his guys are overseas. Which is the main reason he kept volunteering for deployments. And with each one he felt more and more disconnected from his life back home. Until he couldn’t open up at all. Now that he’s back stateside and facing a court-martial, he’s rethinking his past decisions. When his lawyer says he and Laura need to look like a happily married couple in order to help his case, he flat refuses. He doesn’t want to hurt her anymore than he already has. Until she agrees.  Then he realizes he might have another shot.

After years of deployments and months alone, the last thing Laura wants is to have Trent move back in and disrupt her new normal. But she can’t deny him the time with his kids, and no way can she let him hang out there all alone when there’s a possibility she might be able to help clear the charges against him. So she agrees to help, as long as he agrees to grant her a divorce as soon as his trial is over.  But spending time with him and watching him try to get his feet under him and find his new normal is harder than she expected. She still loves him and wants nothing more than to work things out. If only love was enough.

This was an extremely realistic look at the trials and tribulations our military members and their families face.  I admit I was bawling by page 8 and that didn’t really let up until about halfway through the book.  My heart went out to Trent. He really wanted his family, but he had no idea how to get them back. He’s felt disconnected for so long, he doesn’t even know where to begin to reengage. I was glad to see Scott didn’t just wave a magic wand and make him better. He had to find a way to deal with his near-death and the loss of so many of his men, and that included medication and counseling.

As Trent opens up and learns to be a husband and father all over again, I felt myself melting right along with Laura. Though he made choices that hurt his family, his love for them was undeniable. He may not have known how to reopen the lines of communication, but he made real effort.

I really empathized with Laura. It isn’t easy being the one left at home, especially when your husband slowly disconnects from you and your family. When the rumors started up about Trent and a female soldier, she didn’t put much stock in them. Until she found out he’d been volunteering for his deployments when he’d told her otherwise, divorce was the farthest thing from her mind. That was her breaking point. I can’t say I blame her, either. She felt betrayed by his lies more than anything else, not understanding how he could run off to war and leave her behind time and time again.

While this is a romance about a husband and wife falling in love with each other again, it’s also a hard-to-put-down look at the troubles our military heroes face when coming home from war. Scott did an excellent job of balancing the romance with the realities. It was hard to read at times, and I straight bawled at one point, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4.75 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 in exchange for an honest review.

five-stars


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Review: Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann.

Posted April 29, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Rowena’s review of Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann.

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann, whom USA Today calls “the reigning queen of military suspense,” breaks out a rapid-fire collection of pulse-pounding, heart-tugging stories and novellas featuring the intrepid men and women of Troubleshooters Inc., fiction’s hottest ultimate counterterrorism squad.

• Tough-as-nails Troubleshooters operative Sam Starrett learns the agony of loving someone in danger—and the hell of waiting on the home front—as his wife, Alyssa, hurtles into a foreign hotspot that’s about to boil over.

• Navy SEAL Frank O’Leary’s ill-fated holiday reunion with his older brother takes a turn for the better—when a chance encounter on a rainy New Orleans street gives Frank a reason to be thankful after all.

• In a maze of tunnels deep beneath a military base in Germany, Jules Cassidy, Alyssa Locke, and their comrades in arms match wits with terrorists on a mission with explosive consequences.

Plus more never-before-released adventures featuring Jenk, Izzy, Gillman, Lopez, Kenny, Savannah, and other members of SEAL Team 16—along with Suzanne Brockmann’s exclusive interviews with her beloved characters.

Looking for the best kind of trouble? You’ve found it!

This book is a collection of short stories surrounding the Troubleshooter folks and well, mostly they include short stories featuring Sam, Alyssa, Jules and Robin and the people around them.  It also includes character interviews with Suz herself and a pretty fantastic Troubleshooters timeline that was nice to read and catch up on.

I’m not going to review each story separately but I will talk about what I liked, what I didn’t like and what I could have done without.

What I liked:  I should start this by saying that there were only a couple of short stories that were included in this book that I’d read already so for the most part, all of this was new to me.  I liked seeing what Sam, Alyssa, Jules, Robin and the rest of the folks were doing.  I liked seeing what everyone else was up to now that their stories are done with.

I really liked Jack and Arlene’s story.  I remember Arlene from Jules and Robin’s book as Maggie’s mother who was serving in the military and was overseas all the time.  I remember really liking Will (Arlene’s brother) and Dolphina’s love story in All Through the Night and I remember really liking and caring for Arlene’s daughter, Maggie.  It was really good to see these guys again and the plan that Maggie concocts with Jack to get Arlene to stay in the states was funny.  Their story was fun but at the same time, it was real and the characters were awesome. I think this was my favorite story in the bunch and that’s saying something because there were many short stories featuring my favorite of all heroes, Sam f!@#$%$# Starrett.

I also liked the little chat fests with Izzy, Jenk and Lopez.  Those are always fun.

What I didn’t like:  I can’t say that I was a fan of Frank’s story and that’s mostly because I know what happens to him in, is it Over the Edge?  I remember feeling bad in Over the Edge and him laying in Terri’s arms so to see this story with him alive and well and then knowing what happens later on, I was annoyed.  It was like grieving all over again and I just could have done without that.

What I could have done without: A huge part of this Troubleshooters series is the equal rights movement and I really respect Suz for being very vocal about it and doing things about it.  What I’m finding very frustrating is that this equal rights agenda that she’s got going on in her real life is front and center of the Troubleshooters series.

I started reading this series because I had just watched the movie Tears of the Sun and I wanted to read about those kinds of guys in my romance novels.  I came to love the Troubleshooters because the guys in the books were so flawed, so strong and yet, so very real that they became my favorite people.  They each had a different story and they each tackled their issues like a real person did.  They weren’t perfect but that’s what I loved about them.

Now, I just feel that her agenda is really taking the story away from these characters and on to what she feels is right.  That’s her right as these are her stories and she can tell them however she wants but I really miss reading a story about couples falling in love in the middle of bullets flying and terrorists trying to ruin lives and good guys saving the world.  The romance is still there but the romance is sitting prettily in the back seat, waiting for her turn.  Casee wrote a post about this a while ago and really, she nails my thoughts on this topic so much better.  You can read that post here.

Overall, this was a great book to fall into.  The Troubleshooters (old and new) are all mentioned or in it and it’s enjoyable to see everyone again.  I would have preferred reading a full length novel about one character but it’s a Troubleshooters series and I’m a sucker for them so I’ll always come back, even if I wish for more of things that aren’t there anymore for me.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Ballantine. 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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