Laird Wolf

Laird Wolf (Takhini Shifters #2) by Vivian Arend

laird wolf

Overview by Amazon:

He’s a wolf in a kilt. That pretty much says it all… 

Pulling off a rescue mission at a remote castle in Scotland should be an easy task for lone wolf Damon Black. He’ll flash some muscle, show a little Alpha power, and do whatever it takes to ease Addie MacShay’s fears. But the woman who throws herself into his arms and cries boyfriend is more intriguing than anticipated. The sexy she-wolf’s got more curves, more tantalizing scent, more of everything he desires. 

Addie’s job cataloguing an estate at the Sterling-Wylde Manor is complicated by the ongoing discovery of new wills and the two creepy heirs who won’t leave her alone. But her fake boyfriend turns out to be a far greater threat—not only is he fun and flirtatious, he looks delicious in a kilt. She craves his touch, but with her empathic skills on overdrive, touch is the last thing she needs. 

Damon’s fighting his unruly inner beast. Addie’s fighting their incredible sexual pull. They’re both going to have to lower their guard to make this more than a Highland fling.

I have just started to get into the shifter romance genre.  This book looked like a good one, so I requested it!

The book starts out with hot, wolfie Damon riding in the Scottish Highlands.  He arrives at the castle dripping wet and getting embraced by the beautiful Addie.  They have quite a hot kiss and so begins the fun and games.

Since Damon’s luggage was lost, he gets some clothes from the Sterling-Wylde cat shifter brothers.  As a joke, they provide him with kilts, but the joke is on them when Damon steps out looking like a Scottish Laird.

Addie is there to document the historical items in the castle which is part of a contested will settlement.  Her friend Lillie has sent Damon there to protect her.  I haven’t read other books in the series, so there was some back story that I didn’t quite get.  Damon takes his job seriously and he works to spend time with the luscious Addie.  He finds her beyond attractive and wants to get to know both her and her inner wolf.

This book would have been just as interesting without the shifter elements, but it added another dimension to the story.  Damon is an alpha, but also a lone wolf.  He is having some troubles with his wolf while he is in the highlands and therefore we don’t get to experience much of Damon as the four legged character.  Addie is an Omega wolf.  This tends to be the empathetic and spirit of a pack.  She experiences others emotions and therefore touch is very hard for her.  It is so hard when Damon looks like a god and all she wants to do is give in to the sexual energy buzzing between the two.

This was a fun novel.  I think the castle was almost like another character in this book.  I liked learning about the history and Addie’s job.  There is a lot to enjoy in this book and if you are a big fan of shifters and Scotland, then this book is your cup of tea!

Taming His Rebel Lady

Taming His Rebel Lady (The Georgian Rebels Series) by Jane Godman

taming his rebel lady

Overview by Amazon:

In the six months since the Jacobites met defeat at Culloden, the English have ruthlessly routed the remaining rebels. Now Sir Edwin Roxburgh rides to claim Cameron House, his reward for his loyalty to the king.

His welcome comes at the point of a sword. It’s only after a fierce fight that Edwin discovers that underneath the banned tartan, the “boy” he’s just wounded is none other than the lady of the house.

If the crown thinks Lady Iona Cameron will allow an English soldier to turn her out of her own home, the crown is sadly mistaken. She never thought her desperate attempt to defy authority would send her to a traitor’s death—unless she agrees to marry Roxburgh.

Edwin quickly realizes he has his hands full trying to control the fiery, rebellious widow—and trying to control his own desire to fill his arms with her beautiful body. But he has a dark past that makes love not only impossible, but dangerous—especially if Iona manages to slip past his guard.

This book was like reading an episode of Outlander.  The lush Scottish Highlands, the Jacobite cause, rebellious Scots and the dreaded English redcoats are all part of the tapestry of this story.

While this is a love story with great characters, I was just as into the political plot as I was the love story.  The Scottish clearances have been taking a great toll on the local population.  This story takes place after the disaster at Culloden and the Highland way of life is gone.  I found the politics of the local lairds and the commanders at the British forts fascinating.  There are local pockets of resistance and the heroine is one of the many who fight to protect the people from raping and looting.  There is another awesome avenger on the scene, The Falcon.  He’s like a Robin Hood.  He disrupts the British from turfing Scots from their land and sees them to safety in the Carolinas.  He loves to tweak the English’s noses and has drawn the attention of the upper echelons of the British government’s attention.

The love story is interesting as well.  Edwin has been granted a manor for recognition of his service in the army.  I realized as I read this book, how likely this situation would be.  It didn’t matter who owned the property, if they had been branded a traitor, the land was given away.  It didn’t matter who still called the place home.  This is the case for Lady Iona.  Her husband died at Culloden and his home is being given to Edwin, so she must leave.

Fate deems it that Edwin wants her to stay and once he finds out about her nightly missions, he marries her to protect her.  Edwin is a well developed character, but it surprised me that he would be so eager to settle in the Highlands considering his active life in London.  Iona is spirited and very feisty.  She is like a fire cracker – quick to leap and full of sparks.  Edwin wants to tame her, but not in a controlling way, he just wants to save her life.  It is a dangerous time and her adventures make her a target.

For an Englishman, Edwin has more than a healthy distaste for the treatment of the Scots.  His sympathies are deeply explored along with his past.  The villain of this book is an evil man.  Of course, I extremely disliked him, but as a reviewer, I have to say that he created great conflict for the characters.

While Iona is a widow, she has no idea of the marriage bed.  She is not a virgin, but did her ‘duty’.  It is Edwin’s pleasure to teach her about passion and lust.  I actually laughed about her expectations and how she tries to entice Edwin to her bed.  The two enjoy a lusty marriage once they are on the same page.

This book was like reading an Outlander type book a few years after Culloden.  What happened to the people and how they endured.  I loved the plot and the political content.  The love story was woven throughout the action.  A great read to fill in the time until the new season of Outlander starts!

Serendipity

Serendipity (Inevitable Series) by Janet Nissenson

serendipity

Overview by Amazon:

Was meeting again an unfortunate twist of fate? Or was it just serendipity?

Julia McKinnon was convinced she’d found the one – the man of her dreams, the most seductive, experienced lover she’d ever known – and the night they’d spent together in New York was the stuff erotic fantasies were spun from. But with the dawn of a new day came only heartache and betrayal, and her dreams were snuffed out like so much fairy dust.
Nathan Atwood felt like the lowest sort of life form after seducing the incredibly beautiful girl he met in New York, only to break her tender heart with the confession that he was already involved with someone else. Leaving Julia was the hardest thing he’d ever done, and the memory of their passionate night together haunted his dreams for months afterwards.
Now fate has brought them together again, and they are forced to work alongside each other. Will Julia be able to put aside the feelings she still has for her handsome boss and forge a new life for herself in San Francisco? And how long will Nathan be able to resist the gorgeous woman he’s never really stopped thinking about or wanting?

So I recently read two books in the Inevitable Series, Splendor and Shattered.  I realized there was another book in the series and just had to read it.  In fact, I have read it like three times.  This book has fascinated me and yet left me conflicted.

The reviews of this book on Goodreads are all over the map.  Some are scathing.  Like horrendous – didn’t finish, hated the male lead character and so on.  On the other end of the spectrum, five star ratings and gushing volumes of praise.

I have to say that there is definitely something about this book that has caused me to ignore my to-be-read list and re-read it over a few days.  As I am driving, I am questioning what has held me so captive about this book.  It has elements in the plot line that should totally turn me off.

Nathan cheats on his new fiancee with Julia.  He meets her randomly in New York and just has to have her.  She feels like his soul mate, but in the morning, he admits his infidelity and leaves her broken hearted. I am not a fan of cheating in my romance novels.  In fact, I pretty much refuse to read books that feature this.  But, I am questioning what made me stick with this book!?  Maybe it’s because you know that Julia is the one he is supposed to be with, or the amazing soul shattering sex they have.  I’m finding it elusive to name the element that didn’t make me put the book down.

His fiancee Cameron is a raging bitch and totally wrong for him.  I usually really dislike when an author lays the blame on a woman in the book and makes her a bitch.  It’s a literally devise that I find disrespectful of women.  However, in this book, there had to be a villain and Cameron creates really fantastic conflict and drama.  She is the instrument of change in the book and I think it was because it was so effectively developed, that it just worked in this case.

Nathan is a chicken.  He is also really sexy and has a very dirty mouth.  But nonetheless, he is frustrating because he wants to be the good guy who doesn’t break off an engagement.  Even though he wants Julia, he pretty much stalks her and continues to lust after her.  The relationship with Cameron was not working in everyone’s eyes, but Nathan’s.  He just couldn’t admit that he didn’t want the same things as Cameron.

I think the things that I loved about this book outweighed the criticisms others had.  I loved Julia.  She was a wonderful character.  One reviewer commented that she was just too perfect.  I didn’t see that in her.  Julia may be drop dead gorgeous, successful and extremely well dressed, but she had also had her share of heartbreak, challenges and she definitely had to work hard for her success.  I found her to be a stable and relatable character.

The sex in this book is so off the charts.  Another reviewer complained about how much sex was in the book.  Seriously??  It’s along the lines of Crossfire or Fifty in the quantity, but the quality was great!  Nathan has a very dirty mouth and I really liked how the two of them couldn’t keep their hands off each other.  Aren’t most relationships like that in the beginning?  I enjoyed hearing about Julia’s lingerie fetish and I think I picked up a trick or two for my own personal life.

The emotional story in this book is what really sucked me in.  It was fate that kept drawing Nathan and Julia together.  The longing, the passion, the despair made it so much sweeter when they were together.  I CARED about these characters.  I LIKED spending my time with them.  I ENJOYED seeing them work their way back to each other.  I think that is my conundrum.   I should resist the elements of the plot that are not appealing (like the cheating), but it made the story so realistic.  This is real life.  People make shitty decisions and have to live with the consequences.  Nathan made many mistakes.  In real life, would he be written off forever?  It takes a brave author to have the courage to create characters with intrinsic flaws that some people will find irredeemable.

I’m just a sucker for the happily ever after, however I get it.  There is a follow up novella (although it’s quite long for a short story) that follows the couple into the future.  It was also great.  I loved catching up with them and I can’t wait for Julia’s twin sister Lauren’s story.  Janet Nissenson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.  I like the authenticity of her work and the inner dialogue her books provoke in me.  Check out her stuff if you are looking for a great contemporary series.

Here is the Amazon

My Highland Bride

My Highland Bride by Maeve Greyson

my highland bride

Overview by Amazon:

With bedroom eyes and racetrack curves, Kenna Sinclair seems like just another pretty Kentucky girl. But she can also read minds, erase memories, and jump through time—a skill set that comes in handy when her matchmaking granny sends her back to thirteenth-century Scotland on the pretext of visiting her older sister. When she encounters the clan’s womanizing man-at-arms, Kenna instantly knows the gorgeous Highlander has only one thing on his mind. She vows to steer clear of him, but after a single electrifying touch, she finds that playing hard to get won’t be quite so easy. . . .

Bewitched by the first lass who could ever resist him, Colum Garrison will do anything to prove his devotion, even ask for Kenna’s hand in marriage—and swear off his chosen form of recreation until their wedding night. It’s a burden for a man of his thunderous appetite, but the sinful temptation is not his alone: Colum’s fetching bride-to-be is practically trembling with anticipation for a moment that can’t come soon enough. When she’s willing, Colum will be ready and waiting—with a love that lasts a lifetime.

I seem to be on a real roll this week with time travel books.  I was so thrilled to get this book from Netgalley.  I LOVED the first book in the series, My Highland Lover.  I really enjoy the Sinclair women, especially Granny.  The Sinclair women are time jumpers.  They were born in the medieval ages, but jumped to the future for the health of the youngest ones.  Granny decided in the previous book that it was time to return to the past and to the Highlander men waiting for them.

This book features the second eldest daughter, Kenna.  Left behind with the twins in Kentucky while her older sister and Granny went back to Scotland, she has been taking care of things.  When she gets the summons from Gran, she isn’t exactly thrilled.  I can relate.  Who would really want to give up modern conveinces like plumbing and microwaves, but she can’t ignore Granny’s demands.

From the moment she lands in the past, Colum is her shadow.  At first the brawny Highlander seems like a sure bet, but they Kenna reads his mind and she describes it as a ‘Highlander porn reel’.  To say that Colum is a lover of women would be putting it mildly.  He doesn’t like the way that Kenna looks at him and vows to her that he will be worthy of her virginity.

And so begins the dance between the two.  They definitely enjoy kissing and pleasuring each other and while they know that they are fated to be together, they don’t wed.  Kenna was a headstrong character and so fun to read about.  I loved how she put Colum through his paces.  She makes him jump through every single hoop that she can conceive.  She adjusts well to the time period and that is in large part thanks to Colum’s constant presence.

Colum is a guard for Grey, Kenna’s brother in law.  He is also Colum’s best friend.  Colum wants Kenna more than anything and after six weeks of heavy making out, he is desperate to complete the act.  However, he has no house, no money and very little to offer Kenna.  His inadequacies hold him back from sealing the deal.  Kenna is totally losing patience with him.  Lust has a way of making people impatient.

A neighbouring Laird with a creepy reputation hears of Kenna and comes looking for a bride.  He has stolen his past two brides, who then passed away in childbirth.  Nothing about this sounds good and Laird Sutherland is great for creating conflict.  He’s not actually a bad guy, but he still comes between the would-be-lovers.

What makes this book and the series so good is that the characters are excellent.  Maeve Greyson knows how to write characters that you can connect to as a modern woman and also to the historical ones.  The love scenes are passionate and heady. The author is very talented at crafting a story that pulls you in as a reader and makes you feel thrilled at words on the page.  The twins Lilia and Mairi still have to travel back in time, so I am counting on two more books to read in this series and I can’t wait!

Top Ten Tuesday – Bluestockings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  Each week features a different topic that can be applied to whatever genre you enjoy.

This week features characters who are readers/writers.  In historical novels, these characters (female) would be considered bluestockings.  So here is my list of books that feature bookish characters!

bluestocking and the rake

The Bluestocking and the Rake by Norma Darcy

the captains bluestocking mistress

The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress by Erica Ridley

dreaming of you

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

suddenly you

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas

a week to be wicked

A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

once a wall flower, at last his love 2

Once a Wallflower, as Last His Love by Christi Caldwell

a heartless design

A Heartless Design by Elizabeth Cole

grey

Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey) by EL James

An Indecent Invitation

An Indecent Invitation (Spies and Lovers) by Laura Trentham

an indecent invitation

Overview by Amazon:

Keeping her safe is difficult, keeping a proper distance from her is downright impossible.

Lady Lily Drummond understands only too well the danger of spy work. Her father, a preeminent master spy, has been missing for months, and her brother barely survived his final mission for the Crown. Lily is still determined to help find her father, no matter how hard her brother and his best friend try to keep her in the dark.

Busy trying to untangle the web of deceit surrounding the Earl of Windor’s disappearance, Crown spy Gray Masterson also has to ensure Lily Drummond, the gangly, awkward child who was his constant shadow growing up, doesn’t get herself ruined at her London debut. But the girl with scraped knees and elbows has evolved into a lush, sensual beauty surrounded by a bevy of suitors.

Realizing Lily is going to investigate on her own if he doesn’t let her join the hunt for her missing father, Gray assumes he can give Lily a few minor tasks to pacify her, but he quickly learns she is a valuable asset. Moreover, she fairly crackles with life and warmth—things he craves after his dark years in service.

This book had SO many things about it that I loved!

First, I loved Lily!  Such a fun character!  I adore reading about young ingénues who take the ton by storm.  She may have been brash and never did what she was told, but her impulsiveness led to some great adventures.  I enjoyed the depth the author brought to this character.

Second, I am totally down with the ‘big brother best friend’ trope.  It’s always so much fun when the gentleman realizes what a catch he had in his sights for so long.  Usually this comes with a heaping dose of humility.  The scene where Gray realizes who Lily is was so great.  I like how the author didn’t shy away from the complications of their involvement and the impact it had.

Third, I love Regency spy stories.  It probably became an obsession with Shana Galen’s series.  The danger element and the inclusion of Lily in the plans made this book a page turner and very exciting.  It was a well conceived plot with red herrings that entice the reader, rather than frustrate.

Lastly, I loved the connection between Gray and Lily.  They understood each other and brought a fulfillment that could not be found with another.  I adored how they bickered and flirted with each other.  This book is sexually charged and full of lusty embraces.  Since Lily was so adventurous, it garnered some fantastic love scenes.

I really enjoyed this book.  I am hoping that it is the first in a series as I really liked the secondary characters and wouldn’t mind spending time with them!  Check out this book!

Shattered

Shattered (Inevitable Series) by Janet Nissenson

shattered

Overview by Amazon:

The Ghost

Angela Del Carlo has been living half a life, ever since he walked out on her, shattering her entire existence and leaving her to cope with picking up the fragments. Nothing seems to matter much anymore, and her life is a drab existence of work, run, repeat. She’s forgotten how to laugh, how to love, and even how to live. Most days she’s little more than a ghost.

The Devil

Nick Manning’s life has been one lived without compromise, without rules, and without regrets. Except for his one weakness, his one regret – Angela. What he did to her still tugs at his conscience, still fills him with remorse, and continues to haunt his dreams. But he stays away, knowing that he can never be the man she needs or give her what she deserves.

The Angel

But when fate intervenes and Angela’s and Nick’s paths cross again, she’s determined not to surrender her soul to the devil ever again, while he’s desperate to have his angel back in his arms – even if it means changing the rules to get it done.

I was shattered after reading this book.  I fully admit that at the end tears streamed down my face.  I actually didn’t know if they were tears of sadness, happiness or relief.  This book (and the whole series) was really, really well done.  I love that the author creates really complex characters.  Things are not black and white with the story.  The characters make poor choices, do things to anger or upset the reader and also do so many things right.

The story is broken up into three sections:  the ghost, the devil and the angel.  In the Ghost, we are introduced to Angela who is a shell of a person.  Ridiculously thin, emotionally devoid and miserable.  We learn that a broken relationship FOUR years earlier is responsible.  That sucked me in, to be honest.  I was skeptical of this plot point when I started reading.  I mean, how on earth can someone grieve a relationship for that long?  As I started reading about Angela, the only way I could relate to her misery was if I lost a child.  Her grief and despair is that profound.  That made me insatiably curious about this relationship that could turn her into a skeleton.

In the Devil, we get to know Nick and find out about this relationship.  It would be flippant to characterize it as something similar to Crossfire or Fifty Shades.  Nick wants Angela, but only on his very specific terms.  He will only see her at his desires, dress her in clothes of his choice and have sex at her place.  She can’t call him, go on dates or have any sort of emotional relationship with him.  Part of me was like, really?  I know that physical attraction and lust make people do really stupid things, but the author deftly weaves the plot so that it makes sense why Angela would agree to his rules.  Angela has a messed up family life and she thrives on the rules that Nick gives her.

The sex is out of control in this book.  Nick is a former NFL all star player and now a stockbroker at the same firm as Angela.  He is described as extremely tall, brawny and golden brown.  For some reason I just couldn’t stop myself from imagining his physique like the “Rock” Dwayne Johnson (who I happen to think is smoking).  He is insatiable in bed and hung like a horse.  They have outrageously great sex, which made me envious as the reader.  While Nick was not available emotionally, he did spend time wining and dining Angela, shopping with her and taking her to occasional parties.  Most of their time was spent in the bedroom.

Angela knows from the start that she is breaking his number one rule – she loves Nick.  She loves his mind, his mad business acumen and his ferocious appetite in the bedroom.  This is the longest relationship that Nick has ever had – eleven months and five days.  But it ends when Angela lets it slip that she loves him.  Hence the devastation and emotional withdrawal from life.  Angela leaves her job to get away from seeing Nick.  She drinks heavily and pretty much stops eating.  I really liked how the author made Angela flawed like that.  Janet Nissenson wasn’t afraid to show the ugly side of characters and yet still made the reader pull for them.

In the final section, The Angel, we get to see Nick grovel.  He comes to work at her firm and is shocked by the shell of a woman he once knew.  Spending time with Angela again he comes to realize his mistake.  He never should have let her go.  And this, dear readers, is where the fun and games get going!  It is always so great to see a man have to work to get a woman, especially after he broke her heart in a million pieces.  He tries commanding her to come back to him, wooing her, teasing her, challenging her and seduction.  Angela is so much stronger than the woman he knew four years ago and she has no intention of capitulating to his demands and rules this time.  She has worked so hard to exerocise the demons of her past and she won’t accept anything less than she is deserving of.  I wanted to cheer when she lays it on the line for Nick.

The secondary characters in the book are fantastic.  In the previous books in the Inevitable series, we have met Lauren, Julia, Nathan, Ian and Tessa.  All are in this book so we get a glimpse of what is happening in their lives.  Frankly, I can’t wait to read Lauren’s story because she is so compelling and down right scary.  In fact, I loved this book and series so much, that I went and bought the first book and devoured it today.  The books are quite long, but they need to be to explore the depth of plot and emotions present.

I can’t say enough good things about this series.  I loved this book and the two before it!  If you have a chance, check them out and add them to you to-be-read pile!  You won’t regret spending time with this series.

Taming a Highland Devil

Taming A Highland Devil by Kimberly Killion

taming the highland devil

Overview by Amazon:

A CHOICE…

Laird Magnus Sutherland loves women. His prowess in the bedchamber has earned him the name Devil of Dunrobin, but no woman has ever stirred his heart. Magnus needs to provide his clan with an heir, which is the only reason he agrees to marry the neighboring chieftain’s sister. When his betrothed arrives, he discovers the chieftain has two sisters. If Magnus must bind himself to one woman, he intends to discover which is best suited to be his wife, for he wants more than a body to plant his seed. He wants a mate for life.

A CHALLENGE…

There are three reasons Lady Effie Reay refuses to vie for Laird Sutherland’s affections…

For one, she is thirty-two and would surely lose a competition to her beautiful, younger sister. Secondly, Laird Sutherland is a well-reputed rake, and she holds no desire to wed another faithless man. And thirdly, the sight of him makes her tingle, shiver and ache.

Will Effie be successful in thwarting Magnus’ advances, or will her body succumb to a temptation that can only lead to heartbreak?

Within this book is a good story.  A story that I found interesting and would have liked to spend more time exploring.  Magnus is an interesting character with many challenges in his past.  Now as Laird of his clan, he leads as his father and brothers did before him.  Strife and warfare are rampant in the Highlands and it is his responsibility to ensure the clan’s survival.

He is to marry to bind the clans and to support his new brother in law in his feuds.  When the party arrives, he looks over the two sisters and decides that he will pick one of them to wed.  This is not a surprise, as the opening sequence of this book is one of the most vivid, descriptive and erotic scenes I have read in a historical romance.

Magnus certainly enjoys his bedsport.  The book is dedicated to Gerard Butler, so the author must be drawing heavily from his personal life.  Threesomes, bondage, sex with both sisters, nothing seems to be off the table for this man.  How did he become this prolific at sex?  How on earth does he have all this time to wench when he’s the Laird?  So many questions!

The ability to choose one of the sisters is not as simple as he makes it.  Effie is not interested as she is a widow and has buried her three children.  Her marriage was not a happy one and she found no love in the marriage bed.  Her half sister Vanna is stunning.  She wants to wed Magnus badly and goes to great lengths on her knees to show him as much.

There is the opportunity to explore the relationship between the sisters more in depth – which was a disappointment that it wasn’t.  There is certainly rivalry and anger between the two and I wished the author had spent more time developing what was an interesting story line.

I liked this book, but be forewarned it is really heavy on the sex.  If that is not your thing, than you’ll be flipping a lot of pages to get back to the plot.  I wish this book had been longer because the story was interesting with a lot of intrigue and it could have been stretched out and delved into more deeply.  Still it was an interesting book on it’s own.

Exposing the Heiress

Exposing the Heiress by Jennifer Apodaca

exposing the heiress

Overview by Netgalley:

This Marine will protect her at all costs…

When wealthy heiress Alyssa Brooks finds out her stepfather has been paying her fiancé to marry her, she’s humiliated and betrayed. She quickly breaks the engagement, only to be blackmailed by her now ex-fiancé, who threatens both Alyssa and the son she gave up for adoption. With nowhere to go, she turns to the one man she can trust.

Former Marine sniper Hunter Reece’s lethal skills could save Alyssa’s life. But his little sister’s best friend has turned into a woman, who is an irresistible mix of secrets and sexiness. And while Hunter can trust himself to protect her, he can’t trust himself to keep his attraction hidden…or even pretend to be the man that Alyssa remembers.

Because the only way to keep the lovely heiress safe is to become the one thing he knows she could never love…a killer.

There is a lot to really recommend about this book.  The lead characters are interesting and have a lot of emotional baggage that they work through.  The plot is creative and has those delicious surprise elements that make a book really work.  The villain in the story is exactly what a bad guy should be – sneaky, unhinged and dangerous.

What worked in this book was the reunion between Alyssa and her childhood crush Hunter.  She needs protection and he is more than willing to provide it.  Alyssa finds out that her life has been manipulated by the people she trusted the most.  After her mother’s death, Alyssa has had to step into her shoes and run her company.  This means she is in the tabloids daily and her life is full of projecting a carefully crafted image.  It almost reminded me of how the Kardashians have to present themselves to the world – no cracks, no peek beneath the veneer and no disloyalty.  It’s exhausting Alyssa and when she realizes she can break free she does with all haste.  I loved that Hunter was there to help her transition to her new life and to protect her.

She certainly needs the protection.  Her former fiancé is crazy.  He doesn’t just make threats, he follows through.  His intricate web of deceit and lies is untangled and it reveals just how naïve Alyssa was to let him into her life.  He is the best villain – unpredictable, dangerous and definitely crazy.  The author must have had so much fun plotting out his moves, which further the story and create excellent conflict.

Hunter is such an interesting character.  He comes from an artistic family who are pacifists.  He just finished up as a Marine, where he was a lethal sniper.  He is also artistic and it is his art that is saving his soul and humanity.  He struggles with how easy killing has become and is fearful that he will never be able to live a normal life.

So, you have two characters that are damaged in certain ways.  They feel immense attraction to each other and it turns into caring.  The sex is smoking hot.  I loved how Hunter would state his intentions and tell Alyssa that he wouldn’t and couldn’t hold back with her.

This story moves fast, but that is a great thing.  There is a lot to take in, but the plot never gets bogged down.  This was a great contemporary novel with excellent characters and an exciting plot.

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters Who Time Travel

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  Each week features a theme that bloggers can use with whatever genre they like to read.  This week’s theme is pretty open.  It is a list of top ten characters who do/are _________.  I have decided to post about time travelling.  I think I selected this because it has become a trope that I have fallen in love with.  It may be becoming one of my very favourite – I certainly click quickly when I find a historical time travel book up on Netgalley these days!  It may also be because I just finished the totally awesome Must Love Chainmail.

So this week, I am going to list the top time travel books I have read in the past year.  I’ll post the cover and feel free to click on the title where it will take you to my review!

must love chainmail

Must Love Chainmail by Angela Quarles

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Must Love Breeches by Angela Quarles

my highland lover

My Highland Lover by Maeve Greyson (watch for my review on the second book in this series next week – so amazing and out very soon!)

a stolen season

A Stolen Season by Tamara Gill

cinderella and the ghost

Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles

the thornless rose

The Thornless Rose by Morgan O’Neill

kiss the earl

Kiss the Earl by Gina Lam

outlander 1

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

stormcliffe

Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith (not a traditional time travel, but still wanted to include it!)