Tag: Samhain Publishing

Throwback Thursday Review: Memories of Us by Linda Winfree

Posted February 1, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Memories of Us by Linda WinfreeReviewer: Casee
Memories of Us (Hearts of the South #5) by Linda Winfree
Series: Hearts of the South #5
Also in this series: Truth and Consequences, What Mattered Most, His Ordinary Life, Uncovered, Fall Into Me, Memories of Us (Hearts of the South #5), Hearts Awakened, Facing It, Hold On To Me, Gone From Me (Hearts of the South, #10)
Published by Red Hot
Publication Date: June 10th 2008
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Beneath the lies is truth—and temptation that neither of them can resist.

Book Five of the Hearts of the South series.

Investigator Celia St. John is hopelessly attracted to the one man she shouldn’t want, district attorney Tom McMillian. Arrogant and completely alpha, McMillian is the type of man she likes—a tough son of a bitch. The problem? He’s her boss, and he’s still hung up on his ex-wife.

Since his marriage to a law enforcement agent failed after the death of his infant son, Tom has avoided emotional involvement with any woman. Despite his attraction to Celia, he refuses to get involved with another cop.

Their no-strings affair quickly becomes a tangled web of intrigue as they investigate an illegal baby adoption ring and more than one murder, one of which points to Tom as a suspect. The more they dig under the lies, the higher the risk, not only to their relationship, but their lives.

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on August 5, 2009.

At the time of this review, I have completed the Hearts of the South series. So I can say with complete conviction that Tom and Celia are my favorite couple of the series. I don’t know if it was Tom w/ the heartbreaking tragedy of his son dying or Celia with her unequivocal understanding and empathy for him.

Celia has lusted for Tom since she started working at the DA’s office. Knowing him as well as she does, she knows that there is no chance for them. Tom is still hung up on his ex-wife and Celia will never get involved with someone she works with again. When a dead baby is found in a car that was pulled over for a traffic stop, Celia and Tom get much closer than expected.

Babies’ deaths always hit Tom hard. With his ex-wife remarried and now expecting her own child, this case hits even harder. With his emotions going every which way, he finds himself instead concentrating on Celia. He has always known that she’s a good Investigator, he has just never looked at her as a woman. Now that he has, he can’t get her out of his head.

Following the trail to the person(s) responsible for the baby’s death takes Celia and Tom to a place they’re ill prepared to go. Not only that, but it makes Celia a target. Someone doesn’t want her finding the answers to the questions she’s been asking and they’ll do anything to prevent it.

The relationship between Tom and Celia was just so real. I can’t think of another way to describe it. I continued to be amazed by the characters that Linda Winfree writes.

Hearts of the South Series

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: All I Need by Linda Winfree

Posted June 19, 2016 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I know none of you will be surprised by my excitement for this week’s Spotlight book. Winfree secured her place on my auto-buy list ages ago, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am she’s writing again. Two books in one year? ::dies::

All I Need (Hearts of the South #11) by Linda Winfree
Releases on July 19, 2016 by Samhain Publishing

Pre-Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

He’s nothing she wants…but everything she needs.

Hearts of the South, Book 11

Two years after she buried the love of her life, ER physician Savannah Mills remains buried in her work and keeps her heart under lock and key. But if anyone could tempt her banked desires to come out and play, it’s her neighbor. A couple of casual interactions with the former police officer has her considering a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

Emmett Beck is forging a new career after an on-duty shooting nearly cost him everything. His love life has been in cold storage during his recuperation, but when Savannah proposes a no-strings relationship, his body warms to the idea. After all, it’s just sex. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty—once Emmett realizes that hot kisses and steamy nights aren’t enough. And that he’s fallen in love with a woman who intends to never love anyone again.

Warning: Contains a younger man determined to be everything his woman needs, in bed and out, and an older woman unafraid to explore her wild side. Also features cops who talk like cops.

We met Savannah in the previous book, Gone From Me, and I’ve been dying for her book ever since. I love the sisterly love in this scene.

Excerpt

Southwest Georgia’s summer heat lingered into late September. Leaves turned straight to brown and dropped to sidewalks that radiated the sun’s warmth even in early evening. Sweat trickled down Savannah’s spine and formed damp pools under each breast in her sports bra. She slanted a wry look at her sister, walking beside her. “Tell me again how this is better than yoga?”

“Maybe not better than yoga.” Amy brushed her damp bangs away from her forehead. Perspiration glistened on her upper lip, and she lifted her water bottle for a long swallow. “But you’re not supposed to talk during yoga. We can have a conversation while we do this.”

“How about next time we wait until the heat index isn’t so high?”

Amy laughed and bumped Savannah’s shoulder with her own. “You know you’ve missed walking with me.”

Savannah admitted no such thing. When they’d both lived in Valdosta, these evening walks had been a sisterly ritual, a time for chatting and laughing, sharing and weeping. She had missed this, but letting Amy know she was right could be a recipe for disaster.

“So, is this transfer as bad as you feared?” Amy glanced both ways at the intersection of Broad and Harney Streets, and they hustled to cross against the light.

Enjoying the momentary cooling shade of a magnolia tree, Savannah pondered the question. When Southwest Georgia Medical had bought out a set of small hospitals in the counties close to Lowndes, she’d dreaded being transferred away from the ER she’d served for three years. She’d thought being closer to her sister would be the only positive, but she had to admit Coney had its own charm.

“Not really, but I don’t want to stay here forever. The staff at the hospital is great, even though they really need to hire on some more nurses. Small towns are not my thing, but at least there’s a coffee shop and a decent grocery store. The parks are pretty.” She let a half-smile, half-smirk curve her mouth. “So’s my neighbor.”

“Really?” Amy’s bright pageant-princess smile lit her entire face. “That’s awesome.”

“I said he was pretty, not welcoming. He’s kind of grouchy, but that may be because he’s recuperating. You could tell he was in pain when I got to introduce myself last night, and he had a cane with him this morning. He has a nice smile, though.”

“Oooh, you could help him recuperate.” The pageant-princess smile took on a decidedly naughty note. “You know, give him the benefit of your vast knowledge of human anatomy.”

Amy’s enthusiasm could only be described as infectious, and Savannah laughed despite herself. She wouldn’t mind exploring Emmett’s anatomy at all. His rugged features—a square jaw, high cheekbones, and thin lips—kept him from being too pretty, and those blue eyes of his were gorgeous, contrasting with thick, tobacco-brown hair. He had lovely hands, too, long-fingered and capable-looking. And nice forearms, leanly muscled and dusted with brown hair. Lord, the possibilities. Plus, he seemed smart. Grad school and involved in reading? She loved nothing more than an intelligent, good-looking man.

He was younger than she was, probably midtwenties to her thirty-four, but what the hell? She wasn’t looking for a lifetime commitment.

Shaking her head, she grimaced. “You’re not helping. I miss sex, and he makes me think of it.”

Amy sketched an airy gesture with her water bottle. “So ask him out.”

“I did, very subtly, and he was not-so-subtly not interested.” Savannah sighed, indulged the disappointment a moment, then shrugged. “It’s okay. I’m sure there are other eligible men in this forsaken place.”

“A coffee shop and a decent grocery store, remember?” Amy’s brown eyes gleamed with a familiar teasing light. “Somewhere here there is one eligible man who’d be thrilled to date an independent professional woman who admits to liking sex.”

Savannah rolled her eyes.

“I could have Rob find you one.” The eagerness of having a new plan to execute suffused Amy’s voice. “There has to be somebody he works with that—”

“Uh, no.” As much as she loved her brother-in-law and actually respected his opinion, he owed her some major payback for the hell she’d given him over a certain ER visit a couple years back. She was not providing him that opportunity. “I’ll just look where most women do. You know, bars, grocery stores, and church.”

Well, maybe not church, since her idea of a relationship no longer involved happily ever after. She didn’t need to get tangled up with a guy who wanted vows and forever-and-always. Friendly companionship and a little hot sex—that was all she needed. Besides, to look for a man at church, one had to actually go to church, which she hadn’t done in well over two years. She didn’t intend to get tangled up with that either.

Their conversation shifted to other topics—work, their parents, Amy and Rob’s nearly yearlong adoption process—as they wrapped up the last block of their walk. Amy wrangled a promise for Savannah to come cook with her one night later in the week, and they parted with a hug despite being sticky and too warm. The Adirondack chair next to Emmett’s door sat empty, his curtains drawn, even though a now-familiar Ford truck sat in the spot assigned to his apartment.

Inside her still-new home, the blessed flow of air conditioning greeted Savannah. She glanced at the kitchen and headed straight for the shower. Cooking was not on her menu tonight. She stripped off her athletic wear while the water warmed. Pondering takeout versus trying a new restaurant, she stepped beneath the spray. The little retro diner a couple of blocks away looked cute and interesting. She’d try that, maybe pick up a movie from the rental kiosk outside the drugstore on her way home. No romantic comedies, no romantic tragedies…nothing romantic, period.

Shower over, she left her face bare except for moisturizer, a smudge of eyeliner, and a quick coat of mascara. She half-dried her hair and pulled it into the messy twist she preferred when in the ER. Dressed in cuffed boyfriend jeans and a black T-shirt, she considered sparkly flat sandals versus the sexy black pumps she’d bought on her last girls’ day with her mom and sister. She reached for the heels because, dammit, she’d been dying to wear them and it wasn’t like they were appropriate footwear for the ER. She snagged her pearl studs from her small jewelry box and let a fingertip trail for only a moment over the sparkling diamond solitaire nestled in the blue velvet. On a deep breath, she closed the lid before she slung her leather bag on her shoulder and headed out.

She swung the front door open to find herself face-to-face with Emmett. Her heart thudded hard with surprise, and her breath whooshed out. His blue eyes widened, and she laughed, a hand to her chest. “Oh, dear God, you startled me.”

Hearts of the South Series

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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 the Author

Linda Winfree

How does an English teacher end up plotting murders? She uses her experiences as a cop’s wife to become a writer of romantic suspense! Linda Winfree lives in a quintessential small Georgia town with her husband and grand-dog Poe. By day, she teaches English/Language Arts and is an all-round education nerd; by night she pens sultry books full of murder and mayhem.

To learn more about Linda and her books, visit www.lindawinfreewrites.com, follow her on Twitter @lwinfreewrites, or connect with her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/lindawinfreewrites. You can also contact Linda via email at lindawinfreewrites@gmail.com.


Tagged: , , , ,

Review: Hold On To Me by Linda Winfree

Posted March 15, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Hold On To Me by Linda WinfreeReviewer: Holly
Hold On To Me by Linda Winfree
Series: Hearts of the South #3
Also in this series: Truth and Consequences, What Mattered Most, His Ordinary Life, Uncovered, Fall Into Me, Memories of Us (Hearts of the South #5), Hearts Awakened, Facing It, Gone From Me (Hearts of the South, #10), Memories of Us (Hearts of the South #5)
Published by Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: December 11th 2007
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 405
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

She keeps a secret buried in the past. He wants the truth—now. But an unknown killer could destroy their future.
Book Three in the Hearts of the South series.
For FBI profiler Caitlin Falconetti, immersing herself in her job is the only way to quell the memories of a vicious, near-fatal attack and all it cost her, including the only man she ever loved. Better to let him think she simply rejected him, rather than reveal a painful secret that she’s certain would have destroyed his feelings for her.
Investigator Lamar “Tick” Calvert is determined to clean out the corruption-riddled sheriff’s department in his hometown. While he understands Caitlin’s drive to excel at her job, it doesn’t mean he’s happy about the prospect of working with his former lover, the one woman he tried and failed to hold onto.
A rash of unsolved murders brings them together to find the murderer before another woman dies. Daily contact re-ignites the lingering attraction between them, but Caitlin won’t risk opening herself and revealing her secret. She plans to complete the killer’s profile, make an arrest and get out of town for good.
Tick plans to solve this case, too, but now that Caitlin’s back in his life, he also plans to finally dig up the truth about why she left him.
But there’s an added complication—the killer isn’t done, and Caitlin could be the next target.
Warning: Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, light bondage, graphic language, violence.

She keeps a secret buried in the past. He wants the truth—now. But an unknown killer could destroy their future.

This is the third book in Linda Winfree’s Hearts of the South series.

Caitlin and Tick were getting pretty hot and heavy when he was given and undercover assignment and disappeared. While he’s away Caitlin is attacked and almost dies. When he gets back he tries to rekindle things but she pushes him away for reasons of her own. Heartbroken, Tick returns home and begins the process of cleaning out the corrupt sheriff’s department. When Caitlin is called in as the profiler in a serial killer case, they’re forced to work together. Tick doesn’t want to let her go, but Caitlin is determined to keep him at arms-length. Too  bad for her he’s more stubborn than she could ever be.

This is an emotionally compelling tale. The heartbreak and loneliness both characters felt really came through. Caitlin’s reasons for pushing Tick away seem flimsy on the surface, but Winfree did such an excellent job showing her pain and anger it really worked. Caitlin was a great heroine. Strong and independent, yet fully relatable. For his part, Tick was a pretty solid character. He was steady and honest, and his determination to win Caitlin back was wonderful to witness.

The procedural stuff often frustrates me in romantic suspense, but Winfree does her beautifully. Though there were some minor points I could nitpick, the truth is I was wrapped up in the story and barely noticed until it was over.

This is Winfree’s fourth book. Her plots are tighter, her characters more balance and her overall story better than in the previous releases. I’ve noted before that she only seems to get better with each release, and I find that’s absolutely true here.

This is an emotionally wrought tale filled with love, redemption and a good amount of suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Not My Boyfriend by Monica L. Anderson

Posted September 14, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Not My Boyfriend by Monica L. AndersonTracy’s review of Not My Boyfriend by Monica L. Anderson

Stuck at a co-workers retirement party, Max prepares himself for a long, boring night—until a guy across the bar with an intense brown gaze and a dangerous smirk offers some mutual gratification in the bathroom. Max had been looking for a forever love, but Karson’s so hot, forever can wait.

Ever since his cheating ex broke his heart, Karson’s had rules. Only pleasure. Never more than once. Never stay the night. Yet long after their romp in the bar bathroom, Karson still wants Max—maybe enough to break his own rules.

As Max and Karson struggle to sort out their complicated non-relationship, Karson’s ex resurfaces in full win-him-back mode. One white lie later, Max attends Karson’s tenth annual high-school reunion as his “boyfriend” to keep his ex away. But pretending is hard, when all Max wants is for the lie to be the truth.

Max meets Karson in a bar when they are both there with co-workers. They have an instant attraction and Karson makes no bones about the fact that he’s looking for a quick hook-up. Max, however, gave up quick hook-ups and one night stands six months prior as he wants something more – a committed relationship. Despite Max’s good intentions he decides that it’s A-OK to have that hook-up with Karson in the bathroom of the bar. As hot as it is Max instantly regrets it.

Karson just wanted a hook-up as well but he can’t get Max out of his head. When he returns some books at the local library and finds that Max works there he ends up getting his number but only so that they can be sex buddies which surprisingly, Max agrees to.

Karson ends up calling so he can have sex with Max and then get him out of his system and the pair begin a sex only relationship but Max gets in deep way too quickly and he’s soon deciding that he wants more with Karson. Karson can’t seem to get Max out of his mind or bed. Every time Max thinks he’s going to end it with Karson the man does something to change Max’s mind. Then Karson’s ex comes into the picture and Max ends up as Karson’s fake boyfriend at his HS reunion.

I have to start my review portion of this book saying that I liked Anderson’s writing style and her characters had some really great qualities. This was a good book but I ended up having a few issues with it overall.

First was Max and his decision to look for a serious relationship but then folding like a freaking origami crane the first time Karson blinks his eyes. I wondered if this was the first time that Max had been out in that 6 month period and the first time he was propositioned in all that time because the man just caved! Karson didn’t even have to work that hard. I know that this was supposed to mean that Max found Karson so attractive that he just couldn’t help himself but it didn’t make me look at Max in a very good light. That light stayed dim as he let Karson walk all over him throughout the book. Now I did like things about Max and he was my favorite of the two men but that may have been because I ended up knowing very little about Karson. Max’s best friend Lydia was da bomb and anyone who could have that woman as a best friend couldn’t be all bad, right?

I really didn’t like the way that Karson strung Max along. The man didn’t know what he wanted and this caused misunderstanding after misunderstanding. Now I think part of that issue was Max himself and his expectations because some of the things that Karson did that hurt Max so badly wouldn’t have hurt the random sex buddy. Karson had no idea how Max felt so I don’t think he was intentionally hurting Max, it just ended up that way. He wasn’t a bad guy, just confused.

If you like stories with the “Big Mis” then this is definitely a book for you. I found it frustrating at times but other than that it was a decent read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Heart Breaker by Harper Kincaid

Posted July 29, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Heart Breaker by Harper KincaidReviewer: Tracy
Heart Breaker by Harper Kincaid
Series: Break on Through series #2
Published by Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Former man-eater Samantha Lockhart has been an actress long enough to be able to spot a smooth-talking player a mile away. Dark-haired, bourbon-eyed, a wicked smile…Kyle Masterson is one of the best.

From his bad-boy motorcycle boots to his good-ole-boy Southern drawl, everything about Kyle screams sex appeal. But after a tragedy hits close to home, Sam tries to convince herself she’s done with players on and off the stage.

Kyle, a V-twin-riding divorce attorney, has witnessed enough horror stories of love gone wrong to know that while women are welcome in his bed, they’re definitely not in his future. But once the petite, mercurial redhead catches his eye, he can’t think of anything—or anyone—else.

Sam’s trust doesn’t come easy, but the more time they spend together, the deeper they both fall. Yet just as they’re breaking through each other’s barriers, someone who doesn’t like being upstaged makes a deadly play of his own. And if Sam refuses, she may not be able to breathe a word to anyone…ever.

 

Tracy’s review of Heart Breaker (Break on Through #2) by Harper Kincaid

Sam is an actress living in her childhood home. Her and her sister moved into the home after their parents were killed by a drunk driver. It’s been 7 months since they died and Sam hasn’t returned to her do an acting jobs. She has been renovating her home and has pretty much been a hermit. She finally is talked into attending a super bowl party at a neighbor’s house where she meets Kyle.

She finally decides to get back into acting and goes for an audition and gets the part immediately. Unfortunately she finds out that a director she swore she would never work for again is the one directing the play.

In the meantime Kyle is pursuing Sam but Sam isn’t sure where their relationship is going. She’s confused but she knows that she’s falling in love with Kyle.

The couple in this book were interesting in that Kyle was a player and Samantha wasn’t. She used to use men but after her parents died that had changed and now she wanted something more lasting. She realized what a paradox it was. Seeing who she was from a different point of view was pretty eye-opening for her.

Kyle really cared for Sam but wasn’t exactly sure how to express himself. I liked him but I didn’t feel a connection to him in any way – I wanted to, but I just didn’t.

The story seemed to jump around a bit but it was still easy to follow. It was entertaining and I enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,