Tag: Silhouette

Retro-Review: Born O’Hurley by Nora Roberts

Posted August 11, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

ap3.2Rowena’s review of Born O’Hurley by Nora Roberts.

Dance to the Piper

Though her name was up in lights, Maddy O’Hurley cared nothing for the trappings of stardom. All that mattered was dancing. But Reed Valentine’s only passions were wealth and power. . .until Maddy engaged the mesmerizing mogul in the daring dance of love.

Do opposites really attract?

They do in this story. No one could be more completely different than straight laced, business before pleasure, Reed Valentine and fun loving, free spirit Maddy O’Hurley. She’s a dancer, he’s a big time business mogul. He’s the backer for her next Broadway play. They couldn’t have been more wrong for each other, but they had love on their side and just when you think there’s no hope for them, love comes out and saves the day.

I really enjoyed reading this story, it had all the necessary drama mixed in with a dallop of witty banter and what really drew me to the story was the hope that Maddy never really lost sight of. She knew what she wanted and instead of playing the coy seductress, she seduced Reed with everything that she was.


It’s a feel good story of two people’s journey from friendship to lovers to husband and wife. You’ll enjoy this story as much as I did, I’m sure. Very light, which is exactly what I was looking for and NR really delivered with this story.

A treat.

The Last Honest Woman 

As the widow of an infamous car champion, Abby O’Hurley shunned publicity. But how could she keep charming, disarming and ruthlessly cynical biographer Dylan Crosby from uncovering her darkest secrets?

Assumptions really have a way of kicking us in the ass. That was very much the case with one, Mr. Dylan Crosby, investigative reporter turned biographer. His next project was about the greatest race car driver of all time, Chuck Rockwell who’s last race turned out to be the last race for him period, the crash that killed him. Chuck Rockwell was by all means, known to the world to have lived his personal life, just as fast as he drove his cars. He married one, Abigail O’Hurley when she was 18 years old and for the first couple of years, she was beside him at every race, at every celebrity function, cheering him on. Then, she fell off the face of the earth. In order, for Dylan’s book to really work, he had to get some answers from someone who knew Chuck like no other person did.

Which is where Chuck’s widow, Abigail O’Hurley Rockwell came into play.

Chuck had been dead for four years and Abby had turned away book deals before because she didn’t want her boys exposed to the half truths and secrets about their father’s past, things she didn’t want ANYone to know, her boys in particular. But money was really tight and she wanted her boys to have something for their futures, the only way to ensure her boys were taken care of was to finally allow, Dylan Crosby write their father’s story. But Chuck’s story was going to get written the way she wanted it to get written, she wasn’t going to let anyone tell her anything else.

Dylan was going to get to the truth if it killed him, and it damned near did. In order for anything written by him be published, he had to make sure that Mrs. Rockwell understood from the beginning that he would get the answers he sought, he was nothing if not persistent, she better be prepared to be point blank honest with him. Nothing was going to change that.

And then they met.

Dylan’s first impressions of her weren’t what he expected them to be, instead of finding the spoiled princess type “trophy wife”, he found a soccer mom who did everything by herself, with help from no one. What an odd thing to find from a celebrity’s wife. Especially, a celebrity such as Chuck Rockwell, who was an all balls to the wall type of guy. He was mighty intrigued by the woman who was indeed the mother and wife of Chuck Rockwell, but who was anything but spoiled and and princess like. She was as refreshing as they come, but honest? The woman was anything but. He would dig and dig until he got the answers he came for, of that you can be sure.
And Abby will protect her secrets with all that she is, because her sons futures depended on it.

The wild rollercoaster of this book was seriously, one of the bests I’ve read in a very long time. Nothing seriously spooky or action packed or anything, it was an easy fun loving story with the drama of a family who spent years on the road entertaining different crowds, it was a story dedicated to family and the love that comes automatically. I really enjoyed this book and recommend all to read it. Dylan and Abby’s story was wonderful and it was one that had me thinking of the characters long after I finished reading it. Ben and Chris are to die for and two of the sweetest boys I have ever had the pleasure of reading about, Nora Roberts does a wonderful job weaving us into this intricate plot to get to the end. There’s lots of ups and a fair share of downs, but the ending is sweet and it ends just as it should end.


Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Sihouette. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. I bought my copy of this book.

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Series Review: The Mackenzies by Linda Howard

Posted November 16, 2010 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Holly‘s review of The Mackenzie series, Mackenzie’s Mountain, Mackenzie’s Mission, Mackenzie’s Pleasure, Mackenzie’s Magic and A Game of Chance by Linda Howard.

Linda Howard is, by far, one of my favorite authors. I’ve read and re-read her books so many times they’re starting to fall apart. With the exception of her two earliest releases and a few of her later ones, I adore everything she’s written. Her earlier category romances are some of her best work. Especially the Mackenzies.

I recently re-read the series. Rather than doing a full review for each book, I thought I’d just review the entire series in one post.

Mackenzie's MountainMackenzie’s Mountain (book 1)
A small Wyoming town is about to learn a few lessons — from a new schoolteacher with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore he had nothing to give….

Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. But she is a good teacher — and she wants Wolf Mackenzie s son back in school. And after one heated confrontation with the boy s father, she knows father and son have changed her life forever.

Still paying for a crime he didn’t commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But prim-and-proper Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn’t see Wolf as the dangerous half-breed the town has branded him. Somehow she sees him as a good, decent, honest man. A man who could love…

Wolf s not sure he — or the town of Ruth, Wyoming — is ready for the taming of Wolf Mackenzie.

At its heart, this novel deals with prejudice, acceptance and letting go. Having grown up in the upper mid-west and dealing first hand with Native Americans, I think Howard pretty well nailed the general mindset of the average white American during this time period. It was easy to believe that people would automatically assume the worst about Wolf simply because of his heritage. I’d like to say we’ve learned our lesson since then, but I don’t know that we have. But that’s a post for another day.

It’s been ages since I read this book. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed Wolf and Mary. Esp the way Mary stood up for herself and those she cared about.Wolf’s past and the opinions the town had of him did nothing to stop Mary from caring for him. She believed in doing what’s right, and she knows nothing is more right than loving Wolf and his son Joe. 

Wolf and Joe were both over-the-top characters. I liked that Wolf was determined to protect Mary from his reputation – and from herself – but couldn’t stay away from him. It was interesting to watch him fall. 

Of all the books in the series, I think this is my favorite. And, as GrowlyCub recently said on Twitter, the best of them all. 

4.75 out of 5 

Mackenzie's Mission Mackenzie’s Mission (book 2)

Night Wing–the revolutionary test plane with a top secret weapons system–was Colonel Joe “Breed” Mackenzie’s number-one priority. And weapons expert Caroline Evans was his number-one distraction. True, the stubborn blonde was giving him the cold shoulder, but Joe hadn’t become the best of the best by giving up. Then he discovered someone on the inside was sabotaging Night Wing, and with her late hours and specialized expertise, Caroline seemed the obvious choice. Now Joe had to choose between allegiance to his country and love for his prime suspect…

 I remember really enjoying this novel the first few times I read it, but I had a harder time letting some things go this time around. Maybe because I read it directly after I finished Mackenzie’s Mountain, but Joe seemed like a different character. He wasn’t the same boy I’d come to love in the first book, and it wasn’t just because he’d grown up. There was something fundamentally different about him. I can’t put my finger on just what.

Caroline was a good match for Joe. She’s strong willed enough to not let him get away with anything, but caring enough to get him to open up. My heart broke for her when she realizes Joe doesn’t trust her or believe her.

Joe was determined to keep Caroline at a distance, the same way he does everyone. He doesn’t want her to get close because he knows he’ll have to give all of himself to her, even the darkest parts he’s kept hidden from even his family. When all evidence points toward Caroline as the one who’s sabotaging the project, it sends him into a tailspin. He was beginning to open himself to her and he feels like she betrayed him, not just her country.

Even though I wanted to beat Joe over the head a time or two, I still loved this book.Howard is really a master at capturing the reader and pulling an emotional response from them. 

4.25 out of 5

Mackenzie's Heroes: Mackenzie's Pleasure\Mackenzie's Magic (Hqn Romance)Mackenzie’s Pleasure (book 3)
Navy SEAL Zane Mackenzie was a pro. No mission had ever gotten the better of him—until now. Saving the ambassador’s gorgeous daughter, Barrie Lovejoy, had been textbook—except for their desperate night of passion. And though his job as a soldier had ended with her freedom, his duties as a husband had only just begun. For he would sooner die than let the enemy harm the mother of his child.

 I’d forgotten that Linda Howard was anti-birth control in the early days. Of course, society as a whole wasn’t as concerned with it as we are now, so I can’t say too much.

This book begins with a prologue from Wolf’s point of view, detailing the happenings of the Mackenzie clan since the end of Mackenzie’s Mission. Approximately 20 years have passed since then and there were a lot of things that happened for the Mackenzie’s. I think it’s important to read this book and the prologue before continuing on, because it explains a lot about the family as a whole, as well as each individual sibling.

I’m not sure I ever read this book before now. I thought I’d read it, but the details were very hazy. I enjoyed both Zane and Barrie, though I do wish there had been a bit more to their story. The long separation between them didn’t allow for enough in the way of the romance. 

4 out of 5

Mackenzie's Heroes: Mackenzie's Pleasure\Mackenzie's Magic (Hqn Romance) Mackenzie’s Magic (book 4)
Meet Maris Mackenzie and the sexy stranger she woke up to find in her bed! Unfortunately, she had no memory of Alex MacNeil, the previous day…or the prize Thoroughbred she’d apparently stolen…

This is the least satisfying of all the Mackenzie books. Because of the length, both Maris and Mac were shortchanged. Though Howard did a credible job with the limited word count she had, the story would have been much improved if it were 50pages longer.

All-in-all not a bad novella, it was just too short to have the same emotional impact as the other books in the series. 

3.5 out of 5

A Game Of Chance (Bestselling Author Collection)A Game of Chance (book 5)
A Mackenzie story from New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard.
One the trail of a vicious criminal, agent Chance Mackenzie had just found the perfect bait for his trap. The solitary agent discovered that the elusive evildoer had a daughter no one knew about. And so Chance made himself the only man vibrant courier Sunny Miller could trust — and then arranged for her long-missing father to find out about them.

What Chance hadn’t foreseen was that Sunny had reasons of her own to be hiding from her father — and now Chance’s deception had brought them both one step closer to the end of everything they held dear . . .
My heart breaks for Sunny every time I reread this book. Although Chance tried to justify his actions, it’s hard for me to accept that he did what he did. I didn’t dislike him, but I had a hard time letting it go. I think Sunny forgave him too quickly.

I liked her enjoyment in life and the way she made the best of every situation. I liked Chance’s intensity and the way his emotional ties baffled him.

He needed to grovel more.  Simple as that. 

3.75 out of 5 

As a whole, this series is just as endearing as I remember. Though I found more flaws with it this time around, I still thoroughly enjoyed them.  If you haven’t already, you really need to read them.

Total series grade: 4 out of 5

The series:
Mackenzie's MountainMackenzie's MissionMackenzie's Heroes: Mackenzie's Pleasure\Mackenzie's Magic (Hqn Romance)A Game Of Chance (Bestselling Author Collection)

This series is available from Mira. You can buy it in bundles here or here in e-format.

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Review: Reining in the Rancher by Karen Templeton.

Posted June 1, 2009 by Rowena in Discussions | 4 Comments

Rowena’s Review of Reining in the Rancher by Karen Templeton.

Hero: Johnny Griego
Heroine: Thea Benedict
Grade: 4 out of 5

“You’re what?”

Thea Benedict had been about to–honest to God—tell her ex loveer Johnny Griego she was pregnant. Until Johnny’s teenage daughter her to it with her big news!

Thea knew that Johnny wasn’t a happily-ever-after kind of guy. And now he had his little girl’s impeding motherhood to think about. So you could have knocked Thea over when the sexy rancher asked her to be his wife! She should have guessed Johnny was the type to do the right thing by her. Except Thea had some crazy notion about marrying for love…

I read this book yesterday (just in the nick of time) for K Mont’s Year of the Category Reading Challenge. I’m glad that I picked this book up because I enjoyed it. It’s been a long time since I’ve read about a rancher or a cowboy that I actually liked. The last couple of books with ranchers and cowboys made me want to punch someone in the eye because the heroines were too stupid to live. I’m happy to say that this book wasn’t anything like those other books that drove me right up the wall.

This book was a short but definitely a sweet one. I thought that this book did a remarkable job of sucking me in and giving me a few hours of entertainment. I thought that both Thea and Johnny were three dimensional characters that leaped right off the pages. They were solid characters that made me glad to have gotten to know them as I read their story. As short as this story was, I never once felt that there wasn’t enough background to carry this story. I thought Karen Templeton did a fantastic job of writing characters that I fell in love with and a story that I could enjoy.

Thea was a fantastic heroine. A heroine that I was rooting to get her happy ending. She was stubborn as a mule but her reasons for being stubborn were reasons that I totally understood and totally respected. I thought that the way that Thea handled things with Johnny before they got married were kind of iffy at first but as her reasons came to light, I felt that they were the right reasons for holding back. I’m glad that she didn’t fall into the cycle that her mother set for her when she was younger and I’m also extremely glad that the beef between Thea and her mother were squared away and dealt with. It was good to see the example that Thea’s mother set for her all these many years later.

Johnny was your typical man. Completely obtuse when it came to the female sex and totally oblivious to every little thing that should have been obvious but wasn’t. He was a man that I totally connected with and a man that I grew to love over the course of this story. I thought he was a great father to Rachel and there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to be a great father to his baby with Thea. His reasons for fighting the love he had for Thea were understandable and I thought Karen Templeton did a great job of fleshing his character out. I’m glad that he was finally able to let go of the past for good and move on with his future, with a clear and open mind..and also a willing heart. The way he loved Thea was cute and I really enjoyed his character.

Overall, the story was great. It was a fast read that was perfect for what I needed right now. A quick jolt to get me out of the semi-reading slump that I seem to have fallen into. This book was very entertaining, cute to fall into and enjoyable throughout. I definitely recommend this to those Harlequin fans out there because there’s a lot of things to recommend this story. The only blip for me was the way the delivery was written out, it was much too fast and much to tidy for me which left a slight shadow on that part of the story since I said out loud, “Yeah right, having a baby outside of the hospital without any drugs is not this tidy or this quick!” but I didn’t let that part of the story get to me because this is a category book and it was a much shorter story so I let that part slide. Aside from that, this book was enjoyable and I would definitely pimp this to people who like short and sweet. This is the book for you.

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

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Review: Night Watch by Suzanne Brockmann.

Posted January 9, 2009 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Hero: Wes Skelly
Heroine: Brittany Evans
Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Hollywood Nights . . . Leading To Hollywood Daze

When U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Wes Skelly was sent to L.A. on assignment, he agreed to go on a blind date with beautiful single mother Brittany Evans, sister-in-law of a fellow SEAL. After all, he had been secretly in love for years, albeit with a woman who belonged to another man. So what did he have to lose?

Plenty, it turned out. Because suddenly the woman he thought he could never have was available. However, so was Brittany — and not only that, she was in danger. Because of him. He knew he could keep her safe. But why was he increasingly certain that he was the one in danger?

This is my first story in KMont’s Year of the Category Reading Challenge and my second entry in J-Kaye’s 2009 eBook challenge, so one down and eleven more to go on one challenge and two down and ten more to go another…wish me luck!

This is where all the magic ends. The last book in the Tall, Dark and Deadly series. The part of the series that I didn’t want to get to because I didn’t want the series to end but it ends here. With this book, with these characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Right from the very beginning when Wes and Brittany are paired up on that blind date by Melody Evans (grrrrr, remember how much I liked her from her book, here?) and though they hit it off, they know that nothing is going to come of any of this because Brittany isn’t Wes’ type and Wes is already in love with someone else. Someone he can’t have because that someone belongs to one of his friends.

In the books before this one, we find out that Wes has it bad for his friend’s wife, Lana. We find out that he’s got it bad for her and a part of me wanted him to somehow end up with her but having read this book, I’m glad that Suz didn’t go that route. I’m glad that she took the road that she did for Wes because he deserved more than loving someone from afar and getting her only because something bad had to happen to her husband in order to bring it about.

I couldn’t have written a better book for Wes had I tried because this was just a great book. It was so nice to get to know the real Wes, the Wes that we didn’t see in the other books. To me, Wes reminded me of Wildcard Karmody from the Troubleshooters series because he was the one on the team that I rolled my eyes every time he came on because he was always so crude and such a knucklehead that I never really paid too much attention to and also because he was short. I never pay much attention to the short guys but I will now because I loved Wes in this story.

I loved the way that he was with Brittany and the way that he was with Andy. He fit right into their little world and it was just great to see Andy have that male influence that has been missing from his life and it was heartwarming to see Brittany respond to Wes the way that she did and I really enjoyed seeing Brittany come to mean more to Wes than he ever thought possible. Their relationship was so cute and this book was such a good story that I know that I will be reading this over and over again. One of my favorites of the entire series though my favorite book in this series still belongs to Frisco and Mia. This one was definitely in the top three, easy.

I enjoyed seeing Wes open up to Brittany and I laughed everytime Brittany would scold Wes for trying to smoke. These two were clearly made for each other and they complimented each other wonderfully and I just really enjoyed their story. It was a great ending to a great series and I still have a whole lot of Suz Brockmann list to get through but man am I sad to say goodbye to this series …does anyone know if there’s a story for Jim Slade? He’s mentioned in this series and I just wondered if anyone knows if he’s got a book out or not. I’d like to get to know him a little better as I am mighty intrigued by his character.

Definitely check this out if you’re a fan of Suzanne Brockmann, you’ll enjoy this one. It’s a good one!

This book is available from Silhouette. You can buy it here.

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Review: Baby, I’m Yours by Karen Templeton

Posted March 21, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Baby, I’m Yours by Karen TempletonReviewer: Holly
Baby, I'm Yours by Karen Templeton
Series: Guys and Daughters #3
Publisher: Silhouette
Publication Date: April 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 224
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

All Kevin Vaccaro had wanted to do, when he went looking for his ex-girlfriend on the other side of the country, was to apologize for not fighting harder to help her overcome the same drug and alcohol dependency issues that had held him in bondage for years. Except his ex is dead...leaving behind a baby girl. Jobless, homeless, clean for barely a year, how the hell is Kevin supposed to prove to Pippa’s grandfather – and her widowed aunt, the baby’s primary caregiver – that he deserves custody of his own child?

Julianne McCabe knows letting Kevin stay in her father’s house for a month – Victor Booth’s condition for even considering eventually giving Kevin custody – means very possibly having to give up the child she loves as her own. If Kevin takes Pippa away, Julianne’s heart will break. But even worse, watching Kevin’s fight to earn her father’s – and Julianne’s – trust threatens to dissolve the safe cocoon she’s woven around herself since her husband’s death.

And that will never do...

Have you ever read a book so good you almost don’t know what to say about it? Or how to properly express it’s greatness? That’s what happened to me with this book. (And also with Meljean Brook’s Demon Night. Just so you know)

I reviewed the first two books in this series at The Good, The Bad and The Unread. We’re introduced to the hero of this novel in the first book, Dear Santa, and see him again in the second, Yours, Mine…or Ours. I loved both the first two books in the series, but this is the one I wanted more than anything. Right from the beginning Kevin intrigued me, and I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed.

Kevin is a recovering drug and alcohol addict and I’m woman enough to admit this turned me off some even before I started reading. Yes, I’m shallow like that. Partly because I know some real life addicts who’ve proclaimed to be clean while not (and I have a suspicious nature and tend to be cynical) and partly because I’ve read other books about recovering addicts where they were portrayed as villainous or in an unflattering way, so I was somewhat prejudiced.

But despite my apprehension going in, I loved this book. Kevin is a wonderfully simple, yet complex, character. We can see that though he struggled in his past, he wants to be clean and he wants to be a better man. He still struggles, but he overcomes.

When he learns he has a daughter, his reaction is amazingly real. It’s not “Oh, I love her already” and it’s not “Oh gosh, I never wanted this” but instead it’s a mix of the two. A, “Holy shit, what do I do now” kind of thing. And I think that’s as close to real as you can get from a man who’s just starting to put the pieces of his life back together. But the way he steps up, the way he immediately does what he needs to do to be the man his daughter needs him to be..well, that’s the measure of a real man, in my opinion.

Julianne is also a complex, real character. She was widowed young, and by a man she loved more than life. I think in her situation (and having just married the man of my dreams, I can truly put myself where she was – er, minus the loss) is one which all of us fear, and her reaction to it – to draw a protective bubble around herself and hide from life – was how most of us would choose to react. The thing is, too many times an author can’t express this kind of pain without making the heroine seem stupid, or cowardly. Karen Templeton not only captured it perfectly, but she had me in tears several time, as I watched Julianne’s shell slowly crack open.

And I have to tell you, the end of this book, the thing that Kevin does? It totally tore me apart. I actually sobbed. Not just sniffled, or got misty eyed, or cried a little, but literally sobbed. Because, crap, that was ROUGH. And totally selfless.

This is one of those novels that’s very character driven and shows two people who grow and change, because of the help of the other. Simply amazing. A warning, though, it is somewhat on the sweet side, and I know some of you don’t enjoy that.

I just can’t say enough about this book. Although the previous two books are well done and wonderful, this one far outshines them. It was well written, emotional, poignant, real and had just enough humor to keep it balanced. Go forth and buy.

Karen Templeton is now my new favorite author, and one I feel the need to glom. Join me, won’t you?

5 out of 5

The official release date for this book is April 1, 2008, but I it’s on sale now, here or here in eBook format.

P.S. To gush just a bit more, this book inspired the epiphany I had here and the trouble I had here.


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