Tag: Lori’s Reviews

Guest Review: The Officer Says, “I Do” by Jeanette Murray

Posted July 27, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Lori’s review of The Officer Says, “I Do” by Jeanette Murray.

Captain Timothy O’Shay is on pre-deployment leave in Las Vegas when he meets Skye McDermott. For once, Tim lets loose and the two hook up. But in the morning, Tim wakes up to discover he’s married to a woman who’s the polar opposite of what he always envisioned in a wife.

But Skye is sure that this is fate, and that they are destined to be together. Can she convince him to stay with her before he’s deployed?

This was an enjoyable read. A story of opposites attracting, when a strightlaced, yeah, kinda boring on the outside man meets a hippie free spirited woman. I liked how Tim was willing to really think about things and stood up for his wife when questioned by his friends, his parents, and his coworkers. And I liked how Skye, in turn, tried to be who she thought he wanted by toning herself down.

Of course, their confusion could have been avoided if Tim had just opened his mouth and told Skye that he liked her just the way she was, but not doing so fit his personality. He’s a thinker, an analyzer. So until he had it all worked out in his head, he wouldn’t talk.

Also? Hated both the CO and his wife, but pretty sure I was supposed to. They definitely represent old school military (which I’m sure still is rampant among higher ranks), and their attitudes made sense in that role. But I still hated them.

Also, loads of sequel baiting here with Tim’s sister and his best friend, but I’m looking forward to reading it.

3.5 out of 5

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

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Guest Review: Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

Posted June 23, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lori‘s review of Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father-until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen-whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect-plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter-Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart.

Linda Lael Miller begins a new series set in Parable, Montana. I thought this book had a great premise – I really liked the relationship between the two brothers, Slade and Hutch. I thought the antagonistic and competitive nature between them was realistic, given their circumstances. I really enjoyed the way they had to come to an understanding, and yet it wasn’t easy.

Joslyn took a lot on herself, feeling responsible for her step-father’s misdeeds. After paying off all his debts, she still feels drawn toward her hometown, where she isn’t the most welcome sight. She brings back a lot of memories for people in the town.

LML writes fantastic interpersonal relationships. Slade and his mother were wonderful together. I also loved the relationship that he had with his step-daughter. A true father-daughter bond strained by distance and divorce, but both fully loving the other. And the grown-up way that he and his ex-wife chose to handle their relationship for Shea’s sake. If only all divorced parents worked things out for the best interest of their children.

I loved the way that Joslyn looked up to her old housekeeper as a surrogate mother, and whoa. Cannot wait to read the story of Hutch and Joslyn’s friend, Kendra.

At its heart, this is a very character-driven novel, with the external conflicts serving only to develop and grow relationships between the characters. LLM writes great characters. Real people. After reading a ton of novellas, it felt so wonderful that she took the time to develop these characters, infuse them with personality, and create a great new setting in Parable.

My only complaint was that the book kind of ended quickly and abruptly with the I love yous and a wedding. I felt a little cheated after a long wonderful book. I wanted a more thoughtful resolution and ending. Though I loved the way that Slade and Hutch just nodded and moved on. In that way that men do. I can see that over time they will develop a great relationship, and I’m really looking forward to Hutch’s book.

4.25 out of 5

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

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Guest Review: One Summer by JoAnn Ross

Posted July 14, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Lori’s review of One Summer (Shelter Bay, Book 2) by JoAnn Ross

When former U.S. Marine photojournalist Gabriel St. James arrives in Shelter Bay to help out a fellow Marine, the last thing he expects is to meet a woman like Charity. A veterinarian with a past that would have defeated a less resilient woman, Charity still possesses a heart as generous as her name. She’s known men like Gabe before-but with a shared attraction impossible to deny, Charity and Gabe agree to a simple affair with no expectations. But as summer unfolds, and Gabe finds reasons to extend his stay in Shelter Bay, he and Charity realize that there’s nothing simple about falling in love, and nothing easy about the choices of the heart.


I’m such a ho for JoAnn Ross. She’s one who can go from the sweet, small town romance to the alpha military hero without blinking an eye. I know that a lot of people didn’t absolutely love her High Risk series, but I admit to lapping them up like a slobbering drunk.

I have to say, though, I do love the way Ross writes small town. Smart people, just a teeny tiny bit of the crazy in them, and lots of friendship and love to go around. The secondary characters were terrific, adding all the support to the hero and heroine. I adored that Charity and Gabe both were so supportive of the foster care camp, and that Charity felt so strongly for the kids and fell in love with a pair of siblings and chose to adopt them.

Gabe is a Marine photographer, and acts every inch of the hard Marine when he’s facing off in an uncomfortable situation. As he got to know Charity, he softened until he was a ball of goo. I loved watching him fall for her. He loosened and opened up like a flower in bloom. I loved watching Charity manipulate him into keeping the rescued dog and helping out at the camp, and pretty much anything else that she wanted. He was so easily maneuvered.

Charity was already much more open to a relationship, although she had her own baggage. I enjoyed watching her relationship with her mother grow and come to a place of understanding. I really liked how both these characters evolved, which was why when Gabe still denied that he was in it permanently I wanted to smack him upside the head.

Ross, however, doesn’t make us or Charity suffer too much, as Gabe only makes it 2 hours before he comes groveling back. Full of awesome.

A crusty hero with a squishy marshmallow center, and a competent, smart, sexy heroine. What more can you ask for?

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The Series:
The Homecoming: A Shelter Bay NovelOne Summer: A Shelter Bay Novel

You can read more from Lori at I Just Finished Reading…

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

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Guest Review: Cover Me by Catherine Mann

Posted July 5, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Lori’s review of Cover Me (Elite Force book 1) by Catherine Mann

It should have been a simple mission… Pararescueman Wade Rocha parachutes from the back of a helicopter into a blizzard to save a climber stranded on an Aleutian Island, but Sunny Foster insists she can take care of herself just fine…

But when it comes to passion, nothing is ever simple… With the snowstorm kicking into overdrive, Sunny and Wade hunker down ina cave and barely resist the urge to keep each other warm… until they discover the frozen remains of a horrific crime…

Unable to trust the shady local police, Sunny and Wade investigate, while their irresistible passion for each other gets them more and more dangerously entangled…


I adore Mann’s writing, even when there may be something missing in the story. This story had a very interesting premise – taking place on the remote islands off of Alaska. It centers around a colony of people who have isolated themselves from society in order to live a better life. However, something horrible is happening to those who decide to leave. Once Wade discovers that Sunny is in danger, he goes into full alpha protective mode. This, of course, grates on her since she likes to view herself as wholly competent and not needy at all, but she finds herself wanting to lean on Wade and afraid to do so for fear of spilling her town’s secrets.

Sunny is a wilderness guide, wholly competent in the wild lands of Alaska, and that totally confuses Wade at first and then intrigues him. He knows that Sunny is hiding something, but she won’t say what. When her dog is injured protecting her, she has to stay in town until he’s able to return home with her.

I adored the hero, as always. Wade is one of those smart, alpha military heroes who hides his vulnerabilities behind a devil-may-care attitude. But something in Sunny touches him (besides her smoking bod and her brassy attitude). While I didn’t love Sunny, I didn’t hate her either, and she did nothing to change my warm fuzzies for Wade.

I love reading about these military guys who go from rappelling down an icy cliff to diving into the freezing waters off of Alaska. Wade is a problem-solver, and a thinker as well. His team was very interesting, too, and the next book featuring one of Wade’s teammates comes out in December.

Rating: 4 out of 5

You can read more from Lori at I Just Finished Reading…

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

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Guest Review: Sweet Possession by Maya Banks

Posted June 29, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Publisher: Berkley, Penguin

Lori’s review of Sweet Possession (Sweet series #5) by Maya Banks

She’s a singer who lives for the spotlight—and can’t resist her adoring fans…

Outrageous and out-of-control, Lyric Jones is a spoiled pop star who lives hard and fast, always outrunning her past and the nightmares that haunt her. She’s used to getting what she wants—groupies included—because she can’t stand to be alone. So in bed, it’s the more the merrier, even if it means closing off the deepest part of herself…

He’s a hands-on bodyguard—and a one-woman man.

There is nothing Connor Malone wants to do less than babysit the celebratty songstress while she’s on vacation. But part of him relishes taming Lyric and showing her what it’s like to be possessed—body and soul—by one man. And though Lyric’s crazy antics nearly drive Connor to the edge, his quiet intensity penetrates her defenses, leaving them both vulnerable to the secrets that could topple Lyric from the stage.


Connor is the last of his friends to remain single. He has sat back and watched and laughed as every one of them has fallen like a rock for their wives. When he gets assigned to be Lyric Jones’ bodyguard, he wants nothing to do with the rock star. It’s dislike at first sight for them both, except for the huge spark between them.

Lyric doesn’t understand why she needs a bodyguard when she already has two of them. Her record company is insistent that there are threats being made against her, and they want to protect her.

Once these two are stuck together, the sparks fly and they begin to see a little deeper into each other.

Oh, how I loved this book. This book brings all the friends together from the previous “Sweet” books. I love the camaraderie and that the girls all immediately accept Lyric into their group, and that the guys all tease each other like crazy, and that each of the women has every one of those guys by the balls. And that they all know it. It’s very reminiscent of the families and close friends that Lauren Dane weaves through her stories as well, and I loved it. Think Brown family with more saucy and irreverence.

As for Connor and Lyric, what a wonderful, sweet love story. And holy cow. I think Connor is my favorite hero of the year. Tender and gentle, but still possessive and alpha through and through. *swoons* I loved how he took care of Lyric and understood her and was willing to wait for her to come to terms with her past.

“I’m the man who loves you more than anyone else will ever love you. I’m the man who wants to be with you and will do everything I can to keep you from every being hurt again.”

“I want inside you, Lyric,” he whispered. “I love your mouth, but I want you in my arms, your body wrapped around mine while I dive so deep that we lose ourselves in each other.” *sniffle*”

I’m not sure if the rest of the security team will get their own stories, but I sure hope that Banks is writing Kane’s story. How awesome was he!

I was totally in my happy place. A growly, hot hero and lots of tender sex, plus hilarious hijinks with girlfriends.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Series:
Sweet SurrenderSweet PersuasionSweet SeductionSweet Temptation (Heat)Sweet Possession

You can read more from Lori at I Just Finished Reading…

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

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