Tag: Dorchester

Throwback Thursday Review: Release Me by Farrah Rochon

Posted May 2, 2019 by Casee in Features, Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Release Me by Farrah RochonReviewer: Casee
Release Me by Farrah Rochon
Series: Holmes Brothers #1
Publisher: Indie, Leisure Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

Tobias "Toby" Holmes was destined for NBA stardom. But when an SUV crashed into his car during his rookie year, his dreams of playing pro-basketball, along with his spine, were shattered. After floundering from one job to another, Toby has finally found his niche in the music business. And when the singing sensation he discovered is pegged to star in a new reality TV show, Toby finally sees light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.

Sienna Culpepper has loved her childhood best friend forever, though he has never seen anything other than the girl with skinny legs, cornrows, and mad skills on the basketball court. When Toby returns to their hometown of New Orleans to start his career as a record producer/manager, Sienna is resigned to loving him from afar. However, when Sienna and Toby find themselves working together, feelings arise that has them both rethinking their friendship.

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on May 27, 2008

Release Me is the second book in Farrah Rochon’s Holmes Brothers Trilogy. In her debut book, Deliver Me, we met the Holmes brothers and their mother. Toby is intriguing from the start and his story will not disappoint readers of this series. If you like the friends to lovers storyline, even better.

Since a car accident ended his basketball career, Toby Holmes has been trying to find his niche in life. He has finally found it in managing the music career of Aria Jordan. When he’s approached by a producer who is beginning a reality show for musician hopefuls, Toby realizes that he needs good publicity for his client and goes to the best firm in New Orleans. Little does he know that he has put himself directly in the path of his childhood best friend, Sienna Culpepper.

Sienna has loved Toby for years. Since her high school days of playing basketball with him, Sienna has wanted more than Toby’s friendship. Knowing that she never had a chance has become a shield that she puts between herself and any potential lovers. Even knowing that her chances are non-existent, Sienna can’t help the feelings that Toby invokes in her.

Now, two people that have a life of friendship between them are seeing things in each other that they have never seen before. Sienna is seeing that while the core of who Toby is remains the same, he has never dealt with stroke of fate that left him without the career he so desperately wanted. As for Toby, he is looking at Sienna differently than he ever has. For years his brother Alex has tried to tell Toby that he and Sienna were meant for each other. Always thinking of Sienna as family, Toby has never looked at her as anything other than a little sister and his best friend. Now, Toby is forced to look at Sienna as the formitable, successful woman that she has become and admits to himself that she may just be everything he’s ever wanted in a woman.

While I liked Deliver Me, I didn’t necessarily like the heroine. Sienna was a great heroine. She was a woman that knew what she wanted and went out and got it. Overcoming past trauma to be with Toby was something that Sienna didn’t know if she was capable of. Forced to take a hard look at what she would be giving up, Sienna’s strong nature would not let her hide behind something that has shaped and changed her life for the past 10 years.

Romance readers should enjoy both Deliver Me and Release Me. If you like straight contemporary romance with no suspense, you’ll enjoy both these installments of the Holmes Brothers Trilogy. I can’t wait to see what Rochon has in store for Alex Holmes. She also writes some of the best secondary romances that does nothing but enhance the book.

Grade: 4 out of 5

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

Holmes Brothers


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Review: Stolen Sedution by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted February 3, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Stolen Seduction (Stolen Trilogy, Book 3) by Elisabeth Naughton.

Hailey Roarke was never interested in her family’s fortune. That’s why she became a cop. But with her father and now her cousin dead, she’s suddenly on the wrong side of a police interrogation. The only way to clear her name is to solve the riddle before the real killer. Without getting killed herself.

Detective Shane Maxwell can’t deny the spark of lust he feels every time Hailey is near. But the woman is clearly hiding something. Trusting his gut—and the heat in her eyes—he joins her on an elaborate global treasure hunt staged by her late father. Caught between a sizzling seduction and a maniacal murderer, for Hailey and Shane the biggest reward of all will be making it out alive.

This is book three in Naughton’s Stolen Trilogy. Hailey Roarke is Rafe Sullivan’s ex-wife (from Stolen Heat Fury) and Shane Maxwell is Lisa’s twin brother (also from Stolen Fury). Hailey has been more of a recurring character than Shane throughout the series. They first met in Stolen Fury when Hailey took Shane’s ass down. Literally. It was a very memorable first meet.

Hailey is one of the Roarke’s, something that she’s tried to distance herself from her entire life. She never went into the family business of Roarke Resorts (think Hilton). She wasn’t going to be under her father’s thumb her whole life. When he asks her to step in as interim CEO for a month, she can’t refuse him. Then her dad goes ahead and dies. It’s glaringly obvious that nothing her dad did in life was easy, so dealing with his death was going to be anything but. The reading of the will shocks even Hailey. Her eccentric (read: crazy) dad is sending the family on a treasure hunt. The first person to find the sixth statue of The Last Seduction wins RR.

One of the Roarke’s—Hailey’s cousin Bryan—ends up murdered the night that she broke into his home to look at his statue. Enter Shane. He doesn’t think that Hailey is capable of murder, but after a recent snafu with his job he doesn’t trust his judgment. When it comes down to taking Hailey into custody to stop her from fleeing Chicago or helping her, he goes with the latter.

Hailey is my favorite heroine in this series. She is a straight shooter. She tells it like it is and that’s that. She doesn’t apologize for who she is or the choices she’s made in life. As she and Shane start tracing the statue down, it becomes less about Roarke Resorts and more about whether her father was murdered. It’s not as far-fetched as it seems, especially since someone has tried to kill Hailey (and almost succeeded) multiple times.

There’s also Shane and all his baggage. He has more baggage than Hailey which says something right there. Hailey’s whole family seems psycho whereas Shane’s seems so normal. That doesn’t mean Shane is normal. We don’t know what happened to Shane until the end of the book and it really is a doozy.

I really loved this book. The treasure hunt/family secret style of the book was exactly what I was hoping for when I picked it up.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Love Spell. You can buy it here.

The series:

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

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Guest Review: A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison

Posted May 7, 2009 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Taste of Magic by Tracy MadisonReviewer: Tracy
A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison
Publisher: Love Spell
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
Format: Print ARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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Elizabeth Stevens is one bite away from happiness.

Today is Elizabeth Stevens’s birthday, and not only is it the one-year anniversary of her husband leaving her, it’s also the day her bakery is required to make a cake—for her ex’s next wedding. If there’s a bitter taste in her mouth, no one can blame her.

But today, Liz is about to receive a gift. Her Grandma Verda isn’t just wacky; she’s a little witchy. An ancient gypsy magic has been passed through her family bloodline for generations, and it’s Liz’s turn to be empowered. Henceforth, everything she bakes will have a dash of delight and a pinch of wishes-can-come-true. From her hunky policeman neighbor, to her gorgeous personal trainer, to her bum of an ex-husband, everyone Liz knows is going to taste her power. Revenge is sweet…and it’s only the first dish to be served.

Liz and one of her best friends, Jon, own a bakery together. A Taste of Magic is the name of the bakery and as the blurb said not only is it her birthday but she has to make a cake for her ex-husband’s wedding. He left her a year ago after having an affair leaving Liz devastated.

Unbeknownst to Liz her grandmother had just left her with a special gift. The gift of magic. Apparently this magic had been passed on from generation to generation and it was now Liz’s turn. It also manifests itself in different ways so when Liz was baking the cake for her ex she was wishing desperately that he couldn’t get it up for the wedding night and his entire honeymoon. A buzz goes through her body and light flashes into the bowl. Liz thinks the mixer’s gone wonky but when she later hears that her ex was indeed unable to perform she had to stop and think about what exactly happened.

Since Liz is a baker by trade that’s how her magic manifests itself. While she’s baking, and if she truly wishes for something, and asks for it in “the right way”, the magic goes into the baked good. The problem is, Liz starts attempting to “fix” everyone’s problems and that’s where the chaos begins. Liz soon discovers that she can’t fix everyone’s issues with life or their relationships – or their relationships with her.

When I was asked to review this book I really did have my doubts about whether I would like it or not. Not that the book didn’t sound cute, but lately I’ve not been attracted to witches or witch magic. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I think the fact that the magic was coming through in Liz’s baked goods really was an inventive twist. I thought the story had a cute little relationship inside for Liz but it really was a story about Liz coming to terms with her life, her failed marriage, her family and her friends and though doing that was not easy, it was done well. The fact that all of that could be accomplished with humor was an extra bonus, in my opinion.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


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Review: Untamed by Pamela Clare

Posted February 9, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Untamed by Pamela ClareReviewer: Casee
Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2) by Pamela Clare
Series: MacKinnon's Rangers #2
Also in this series: Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2)

Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 347
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: five-stars

In the breathtaking tradition of The Last of the Mohicans...

MacKinnon's Rangers

They were a band of brothers, their loyalty to one another forged by hardship and battle, the bond between these Highland warriors, rugged colonials, and fierce Native Americans stronger even than blood ties.

Though forced to fight for the hated British, Morgan MacKinnon would no more betray the men he leads than slit his own throat—not even when he was captured by the French and threatened with an agonizing death by fire at the hands of their Abenaki allies. Only the look of innocent longing in the eyes of a convent-bred French lass could make him question his vow to escape and return to the Rangers. And soon the sweet passion he awoke in Amalie had him cursing the war that forced him to choose between upholding his honor and pledging himself to the woman he loves.

I thought long and hard about what grade to give this book. After our Getting Back to Basics pledge, I’ve been very careful in the grades I give. 2009 has gotten off to a great start for me as far as reading goes. Still, until I read this book, there wasn’t a particular one that stood out and said “READ ME!”. I’ve read Pamela Clare since she came out with her first book. Her contemporaries are amazing and her historicals are just as amazing, but in a different way. There has been quite a wait between Surrender and Untamed, yet it was worth every.single.minute. I adored this book. That’s why it’s my first 5 of 2009.

As the Captain of the MacKinnon Rangers, Morgan can’t leave a man behind. Which is how he finds himself at the mercy of the French. Reviled by the French and Abernaki, Morgan knows that he’s going to meet a long and painful death. The last thing that Morgan expects to find while in French custody is Amalie Chauvenet. Morgan is drawn to her as he has been drawn to no other woman. He’s not the type to dwell upon what is, yet for the first time Morgan finds himself wishing that he could be fighting with the French against the British. Forced into service by Lord William Wentworth, Morgan and his men have a simple choice. Fight for the British or die by the noose.

Nothing in Amalie’s life prepared her for the vitality of Morgan MacKinnon. She knows he’s the enemy. She knows he led the men that eventually killed her beloved father. Yet as she nurses him back to health, she finds that she can’t hate him. Even more, she starts having feelings for the rugged Irish man. Amalie knows that she can’t bear watching Morgan be turned over to her Abernaki cousins only to be burned alive. She comes up with a daring idea of using Morgan as a spy for the French. To Amalie, it solves almost everything. Morgan won’t die and she can still be near him.

Pamela Clare did such a great job of getting Morgan’s feelings across. The last thing Morgan wants to do is fight with the British, yet his loyalty lies his men who have little choice. Morgan knows that Amalie is The One for him, but he also knows that they will never be together. In Morgan’s refusal to betray his men, he is betraying Amalie, something he knows she will never forgive.

Amalie was such a courageous heroine. She was raised in an Abbey, but willingly helps nurse wounded men and help anyone she can. Even after she learns of Morgan’s true intentions, she still can’t hate the man. Hating him for his fierce loyalty would be hating who he is, which is something she can’t do. She’s willing to do anything to be with this man she loves, even though they are technically against each other in the war.

This was an amazing love story. The odds were so against Morgan and Amalie being together, yet they wouldn’t give up. Even when it seemed like there was no hope, they both held onto their love. It sounds sort of cheesy, but it wasn’t. From cover to cover, this book was amazing.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

MacKinnon’s Rangers


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Review: Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton

Posted February 3, 2009 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Oh, is he handsome. And charming. And sexy as all get out. Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn’t the type to go home with a guy she barely knows. But, hey, this is Italy and the red-blooded Rafe Sullivan seems much more enticing than cataloging a bunch of dusty artifacts.

After being fully seduced, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. She’s staked her career as an archaeologist on collecting the three Furies, a priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs. Now the one she had is gone. But Lisa won’t just get mad. She’ll get even.

She tracks Rafe to Florida, and finds the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Miami sun. He may still have her relic, but he’ll never find all three without her. And they’re not the only ones on the hunt. To beat the other treasure seekers, they’ll have to partner up—because suddenly Lisa and Rafe are in a race just to stay alive.

I’ve never been crazy about books that center around archaeology. In most cases, there is more information about archaeology than I ever want to know. It just bogs down the story and makes for really slow reading. I thought that this book was going to be the same.

Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn’t the type for one-night stands. Yet when she meets Rafe Sullivan, she just isn’t herself. More than willing to invite Rafe, a stranger, to her hotel room, Lisa hasn’t been so turned on in her entire life. Unfortunately for her, Rafe isn’t there for her. He’s there to steal one of the Furies she found in Jamaica. Lisa has staked her career on finding the three Greek relics and when she wakes up the next morning to find the Furie and Rafe gone, she tracks him down within hours.

Rafe has his reasons for robbing Lisa. He never expected to feel guilty about it, but after meeting Lisa, he found that it wasn’t as easy stealing from her as he had hoped. Not only is he physically attracted to her, but he also admires what she’s accomplished. Still, Rafe can’t forget why he’s there and soon returns to Florida, not expecting to see Lisa for weeks. He’s more than surprised when she turns up after a few days.

Lisa knows it won’t be easy to get the Furie back from Rafe, especially considering her attraction to the infuriating thief. The only thing they agree on is to work together to find the third Furie. Lisa doesn’t know that Rafe already has the first Furie and he doesn’t intend on telling her quite yet. He just knows he needs her to find the third.

Rafe and Lisa are both loners. They both love their families, but have few interests outside of their work. Lisa knows that falling for Rafe is something that would be beyond stupid. Rafe doesn’t think Lisa can accept him for who he is. In addition to their attraction to each other, they soon realize that they aren’t the only people trying to find the third Furie.

The reason this book didn’t seem bogged down with archaeology facts was b/c the suspense almost never stopped. The book seemed to start out slow, but once it got going, it really went fast. I think that Naughton did a great job with her debut, not only for the storyline, but for the characters too. And not just the main characters, but the contemporary characters as well.

4 out of 5

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

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