Tag: Shannon Stacey

Guest Review: Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

Posted September 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Hold Her Again by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Tracy
Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Ava Wright isn't happy to see her high school sweetheart rolling into their hometown a few weeks before Christmas. He's only come back to bury his estranged father, but there's no way she'll be able to avoid him. No one can: he's become a country-music superstar since going solo and leaving Ava behind.

Jace Morrow grew up believing "money can't buy happiness" was something people said to make themselves feel better. But now he knows it's the truth: no matter how many number-one hits he has, he'll never recapture the magic of singing with Ava. Missing her—loving her—and living with making the wrong choice in life were what made him who he is.

When Jace is roped into being part of the town's annual Christmas party, he only cares about earning Ava's forgiveness. And though Ava's heart has never healed, she loved Jace too much and for too long to shut him out when he's hurting. As they fall in love all over again, they're both faced with choices for their future…and this time Jace intends to make the right one.

Jace Morrow and Ava Wright were once a couple in more ways than one.  They were in love and couple and they were also a country singing duo singing in bars to make a living.  Six years ago they were approached in one of those bars and Jace was offered stardom – but Ava wasn’t.  Jace decided he had to give it a try and left Ava. Just left her in a strange town on her own even though they were a duo. She went back to their small home town in Missouri with a broken heart and started waitressing again.

Now Jace is back in town for the first time in six years to bury his father and he knows that he’ll see Ava again.  In fact, he’s hoping he does because he wants to let her know that he never stopped loving her.  Ava isn’t looking forward to seeing Jace because she never forgave him for leaving her like he did.  Of course, when they do see each other again Ava has a hard time keeping the love she never stopped feeling for Jace under wraps.  He soon has her in his arms but can they move forward from what happened?

I’d love to say that I adored this novella by Stacey but I didn’t.  I did think it was good but that was because it had a lovely heroine and of course, Stacey’s wonderful writing style.  That said, I couldn’t get past Jace and what he did.  This is totally on me, and I’m probably in the minority here, but he really pissed me off.  He said that he never stopped loving her but he never came back to get his girl! Not only did he leave her high and dry to pursue his dreams, but then stayed away for 6 years! I guess I could see Ava forgiving him after 1 year but 6?  I had a really hard time with that.  For me, he didn’t grovel enough.  Actually, I’m not sure he could have groveled enough to make it ok in my eyes.

Ava was such a strong woman and I really liked her a lot.  She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders but had never stopped loving Jace.  Maybe if I had been shown some of their times together in the past, rather than just been told how close they were, I would have had a different perspective on their relationship.  As it was I just didn’t see it strong enough to withstand the time apart.

Despite my problems with Jace, as I said, it was a well written story.  If it had been longer maybe I would have changed my mind about the hero but with short a short format he just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Holiday With a Twist by Shannon Stacey

Posted December 8, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Holiday With a Twist by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Tracy
Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she'll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh's best friend broke Croy Dawson's heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh's fault. They've never liked each other, but Croy isn't cruel: he'd never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn't expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn't expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can't escape the truth: he can't walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…

Leigh Holloway is back home in New Hampshire for the holidays.  She has a couple of big secrets that she is keeping from her family but with her parents packing up and selling her childhood home and her sister and her baby living with them as she’s getting a divorce, Leigh just doesn’t want to pile one more thing on top of it.  Of course, it’s kind of selfish as well as she’s sure her family will try to talk her into staying in NH and her life is back in Houston.

The first night she’s back in town she heads over to the new restaurant that is owned by the Dawson family.  She’s not sure of her reception as Croy Dawson, the last time they saw each other, was pissed at her.  That was nine years earlier but she’s still wouldn’t be surprised if he refused to serve her.  She’s pleasantly surprised when he is more than welcoming.  They were such good friends growing up but that’s as far as their relationship went back then.  Almost immediately they’re each tamping down the attraction they feel for each other.  They are soon in bed together but Leigh’s only staying three weeks and then she’s gone.  She’s not sure that she can keep her heart out of her relationship with Croy and he’s positive he never wants her to leave.

This was a cute holiday novella.  Leigh and Croy were great together and I loved that since they had been friends growing up they kind of just fell into that again – only deeper.  The story was charming and the holiday aspect was a nice touch.

My main issue with the story was really Leigh and her “secret.”  There were really two but they were related.  The fact that Leigh hadn’t told her mother the main one that had happened two months prior was baffling to me.  I guess I would have understood if it had just happened but it was a major event and she hadn’t shared it with anyone in her family when it happened?  I find that so strange.  She had a good relationship with both of her parents and her sisters so why the secrecy?  I just didn’t get it and then to have Croy keep the secret and have them sneak around because of it didn’t set well with me.  That was my only issue with the story but it was a doozy.

Overall,  as I said, it was a cute story.  I always like Stacey’s novella’s as she packs a lot of fun and love into each one.  This one had a good family feel, a romance, and humor and those things always score well in my book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Fully Ignited by Shannon Stacey

Posted April 5, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Fully Ignited by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Judith
Fully Ignited by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #3
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited, Fully Ignited, Controlled Burn
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Pages: 182
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire's Engine 59, she doesn't anticipate any problems. She's been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she's fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she's not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It's been a fun ride as a single guy, but he's tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie's plan, but she's tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she's worked so hard for. And Scott can't stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she's his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other's future…there's no resisting the right now.

This is the third and final novel in the Boston Fire trilogy and once again Ms Stacey had blessed her fans with a novel that is filled with wonderful characters, some hot loving, tension in relationships and a look-see into the lives of firefighters and the ups and downs of their professional lives.  We also see into the life of a woman who always wanted to be a firefighter but who knows the unique challenges that come from being a woman in a man’s world, especially a world that relies greatly on physical strength and quite simply, body mass.  Jamie Rutherford knows she has to prove herself every single day, she has to make sure that no one ever sees anything in the discharge of her duties that can be interpreted as weakness.  So getting involved with another firefighter is way up at the top of the “no-no” list.

Scott wants a permanent relationship but NOT with another firefighter.  How can he live with a woman who puts herself in danger daily?  How can he have children where their mother might lose her life in a fire storm?  Somehow he thought that was vastly different than asking the same questions of him as a husband and a dad.  Nevertheless, Jamie and Scott are instantly drawn to each other and figure that since Jamie is a temporary sub for their injured lieutenant, any fling will just go away when she is transferred.  This thinking comes under the heading of “best laid plans of men and women.”

This is a story that makes the reader anxious as there is so much here that is temporary.  The reader knows that Jamie is only assigned to the company for a short stint.  The reader knows that Scott has walled off his emotions so that he and Jamie are just having fun together.  Throughout their affair the thought of a longer term relationship rears its head from time to time, but both are uneasy with this for a bunch of reasons.  Doesn’t look like there will be a HEA for them.  And even though we are hoping against hope that these two make it, the author keeps throwing in the literary wrenches in the works and the tensions get more and more intense.  Friendships and old loyalties are wonderful but even they can be negative forces in the situation in which Scott and Jamie find themselves.  It’s the kind of story that kept my eyes glued to the pages.  I read this one straight through and will probably find myself doing that again soon.

It’s another winner, and although I didn’t read the first book in the trilogy, I have no trouble believing that it, too, will be a wonderful reading experience.  This book was just released and you will do yourself a favor to latch on to it and spend the time to enjoy it.  I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.

Reading Order:

Heated Exchange
Controlled Burn
Fully Ignited

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacy

Posted April 4, 2016 by Judith in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Controlled Burn by Shannon StacyReviewer: Judith
Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #2
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited, Fully Ignited
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: November 25, 2015
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.

Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she's never met. She's unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren't the monsters she's been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.

At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick's dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody's taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it's quickly becoming too strong to resist.

Anyone who is a serious consumer of romance fiction is familiar with Shannon Stacey and her wonderful stories.  This is the second book in her Boston Fire series and as I have found to be the case, her characters are strong and often unusual and therefore they pique the reader’s interest right from the start.  This book is no exception.

Nothing unusual about Rick and his free for all lifestyle.  He loves what he does, he loves the ladies–lots of them–and he loves the elderly folks over whom he keeps watch, almost as if they were his own grandparents.  He’s a genuine caring man who has not yet decided to settle down with a family of his own, but that doesn’t keep him from caring deeply about this couple who have mourned the estrangement between them and their only son.  Now they are beginning to show signs of serious problems related to aging and Rick knows that family needs to step in.  His contacting their son has an unusual effect:  it brings their granddaughter–a woman they have never met–to Boston.  She has her marching orders from her dad, but when she encounters Rick and begins to get to know her grandparents for who they are and not the people she believes them to be, her marching orders get laid aside.

This is a very emotional story as their is lots of hurt here, lots of tension that comes from bad communication, old wounds, misunderstanding, time, and long distance.  There is also deep caring, the kind of concern that puts one’s own interests aside, and people who are willing to acknowledge that they have been apart way too long.  Add in that this is a love story between two people who would have initially preferred to be the metaphorical two ships in the night, maybe hooking up and then moving on.  Fate or life or chance had different plans, and as their story develops, the heat of loving, the warmth of caring, and the emotions of becoming involved in one another’s lives ramps up the heat and emotional content.

I enjoyed this book a whole lot, but then again, I don’t remember a Shannon Stacey book I didn’t like.  I was such an absorbing story, one that just grabbed my feelings deep down, possibly more than some I have read recently.  It is well written and edited, put together in a skillful way, and is a great addition to Ms Stacey’s writing resume.  She has given us a good one here, folks.  It is well worth the time and effort to read and enjoy.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at http://www.drjsbookplace.blogspot.com.

Reading Order:

Heated Exchange
Controlled Burn
Fully Ignited

four-stars


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Review: Fully Ignited by Shannon Stacey

Posted March 17, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fully Ignited by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Rowena
Fully Ignited by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #3
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited, Controlled Burn
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: March 1st 2016
Pages: 182
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire's Engine 59, she doesn't anticipate any problems. She's been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she's fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she's not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It's been a fun ride as a single guy, but he's tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie's plan, but she's tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she's worked so hard for. And Scott can't stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she's his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other's future…there's no resisting the right now.

When we first meet Scotty Kincaid, he was a hot head that went about his business fists flying. Two books later and he’s working on his anger issues and making changes in his life because he’s decided he wants to settle down and not bang a new woman every week. He wants something more stable, he wants to start a family soon and he can’t do any of that living the way that he’s been living.

He wasn’t expecting the fierce attraction that came on when Jamie Rutherford started work at his fire house.

Jamie Rutherford is on a temporary gig in Boston, filling in for an injured firefighting officer and it’s her job to run herd over Danny Walsh’s team and make sure everything is running smoothly until he gets back. Everything is going well until she meets Scotty Kincaid and the strangest thing happens. For the first time in her career, she’s attracted to someone she works with. So this should be interesting, right?

Right.

Scott was everything I hoped he would be by the time we got to his book. On top of being smokin’ hot, he was a family man and I really dug that. I loved the way that he was with his sisters and his brothers in law. He had a good relationship with everyone in his family and I adored the dynamic in their family. They were a close family that joked around with each other, made each other mad but loved the hell out of each other at the end of the day. Seeing Jamie accepted and pulled into their family was sweet too.

Jamie was a great heroine, probably my favorite of the bunch. She was independent, strong and she had a good head on her shoulders. I liked that even though she was the only woman working in an entire fire house of men, she didn’t mother hen anyone around and she wasn’t portrayed as stubborn and didn’t have that my way or the high way attitude. She fit right in at the fire house and I liked seeing her grow closer and closer with each guy in the house…even Danny.

There were times that I wanted to bean Scott in the head for being dumb and there were only a handful of times when I wanted to pull Jamie’s hair but overall, this was good reading.

The romance between Scott and Jamie was sweet and it wasn’t complicated, which I appreciated. It was a straight contemporary romance about two people who met, fell in love and then figured out how to be together. The cast of characters were fun to get to know, the romance was pretty steamy and the two main leads were likable characters.

I liked that this wasn’t one of those drag you through the emotional mud kind of romances. I liked seeing two characters fall in love and figure their shit out together. It didn’t take itself too seriously and sometimes, you just need that kind of romance. This was perfect for that.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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