Snowed

Snowed by Veronica Forand

snowed.png

Overview by Publisher:

Don’t fall in love with the man sent to kill you… 
Lorena Rubio lived a safe, simple life until she’s kidnapped by Andres “Con” Conesa, right hand man for the drug lord who murdered her sister. Con must keep her at a cabin in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains until his boss can confirm or deny the rumor that she’d provided specifics about his drug cartel to the police. Their attraction ignites in the middle of this winter wonderland, but he’s in deep cover for the FBI and has to remain there, and she refuses to attach herself to someone in the criminal world. When the boss arrives a few days and wants Lorena put on ice, Con’s willing to blow his cover to save the woman he craves beyond reason, but he may be too late.

This book is a novella length, but man, can the author pack a lot into it!  This was a great story about the dangerous relationship between Con and Lorena.  Con is the second in command to a dangerous drug lord.  Lorena has crossed the line and now she needs to be taken out of action.  Con is sent to take her away until he receives further instructions.

I really love books where the couple is tucked away with each other.  It forces intimacy and it makes the couple face the reality of what they want from each other.  The formula doesn’t let the reader down with this story! The cozy, snowed in cabin is a haven for Con and Lorena, who both have ghosts chasing them.

I loved the sexy banter between the two and Con was just awesome.  The tough guy exterior fell away with Lorena.  It just sends thrills down my spine when a guy is a great kisser.  Con was the kind of guy who is a face toucher while smooching – sigh!!  He also has some great moves, which unfortunately were not recounted in too many details!!

While the two were tucked away, the world was still spinning.  I really liked how the plot unfolded.  The elements of danger and intrigue developed with great intensity and there were quite a few twists and turns.  It’s not a long book, but a great read for a winter evening!

Tycoon

tycoon

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club) by Joanna Schupe

Overview by Publisher:

In Gilded Age New York City, the bachelors of the Knickerbocker Club spend their days rubbing elbows with Manhattan’s most elite citizens–and their nights with its most intoxicating women . . . 

Standing on the platform at Grand Central Station, Ted Harper is surprised by a fiery kiss from an undeniably gorgeous damsel in distress. He’s certain she’s a swindler who’s only after his money, but he’s never met a woman so passionate and sure of herself. Disarmed, he invites her to spend the journey to St. Louis in his private car–perhaps against his better judgment . . . 

Clara Dawson has long known how to take care of herself, but the savvy shop girl is at a loss when she witnesses–and becomes entangled in–a terrible crime. Desperation propels her into a stranger’s arms at the train station, but she hadn’t expected Ted to offer her the protection she so badly needs–nor did she expect their chemistry to develop more steam than the engine of the train. He’s everything she never thought she could have, and she’s everything he didn’t know he wanted. But as her secrets begin to unfurl, their fledgling romance could be in danger of derailing before they arrive at the next station . .

When I was reading this book I couldn’t help but think of the tv show Mr. Selfridge.  You thought I was going to say Downton Abbey, right?  For some reason, the images in my mind came from that tv show.  It’s really great if you haven’t seen it yet.

mr. selfridg

Clara is running for her life and somehow ends up attaching herself to Ted.  She has no idea who he is, which is probably a first for Ted.  He is the owner of a large bank in New York City and definitely a mover and shaker in the world.  This makes Ted suspicious that Clara is a swindler, especially because she is quite glib and refuses to tell him the truth of why she is on the train.

As the reader, you know why Clara is running.  From the start, Ted seems like a steady and trustworthy character and you want Clara to rely on him.  The time spent in the tiny train cars force the two into a truce of a sort.  Clara needs a place to hide, Ted needs some help with a potential customer.  So they strike a deal.

Spending a lot of time together, they get to know one another and the attraction between the two grows.  Still the lies and half truths are between them.  Since this is a novella, the author doesn’t have long until things need to be wrapped up.

Danger, arguments and intensity enhance the climax of the story.  Clara and Ted have to come to decisions about what is real and what they want.  This is a quick story that was really interesting.  I liked that it was set in the Golden Age – it made the story unique and it intrigued me.  This was a good introduction to the Knickerbocker Club series and I will be reading the next one for sure!

 

Tactical Maneuver

tactical maneuver

Tactical Maneuver by J.C. Wilder

Overview by Publisher:

For him, it’s all about the chase. Until one good woman trips him up.  Men of S.W.A.T., Book 2Just days away from finishing her temporary assignment in Haven and returning to her safe, lonely life in Columbus, office efficiency expert Emma Taylor toys with a deliciously sexy idea. According to local rumor, decorated SWAT officer Jay Barnes is a dynamo in bed. Maybe he’s the man to unleash her inner wild woman—and maybe, finally, show her what the “big O” is all about. From the moment Emma volunteers to play hostage for a S.W.A.T. training exercise, Jay itches to loosen her conservative bun and remove her uptight blouse. A sizzling weekend locked away in her apartment uncovers the woman of his wildest dreams—literally—and suddenly he realizes letting her go isn’t an option. But while he’s thinking “forever”, she’s thinking “forget it”. He’ll have to come up with a whole new set of moves to convince her this bad boy is ready to settle down.

Warning: Contains slippery curves, dangerous fantasies and handsome men with copious amounts of…equipment.

This was a fun, quick read!  I love military men, so a SWAT member is just my cup of tea!

What was great about this book was Emma. I loved that she was full figured and had such a sexy man as Jay chasing her.  It is rare to find a romance book with a female lead whose figure is not ‘willowly’ or ‘lean’.  I really liked the message the author has put out there – that women who are ‘lush’ and ‘curvy’ are just as attractive and worthy of a hot man’s attention.  Characters like this are important because they represent the average woman.

So back to the story, Jay and Emma meet her last week in idyllic Haven.  She has been on a work assignment and figures she might as well hook up with Jay when he puts the moves on her.  Her sex life has been very lacking and she would love to be with a man like Jay.

The sex is great between the two.  I loved how Jay worshipped her curves and body.  The two fall into a quick relationship and with the clock ticking down on Emma’s departure, things get serious quickly.  Jay wants Emma to stay in town and give their burgeoning relationship a chance.  Emma doesn’t want to be with a cop.  It’s a realistic complication that the two face.  I quite liked how the author solved the conflict between the two as it not only brought some drama, but a resolution I enjoyed.

This is a fast read, but a great story to read!  I recommend reading this book because not only is it a solid love story, but the author has created a female lead that is important to read about.

Sins, Lies & Spies

Lies and Spies

Sins, Lies and Spies by Lisa Cardiff

Overview by Publisher:

Knox Black is no stranger to secrets. As the head of a private military company specializing in intelligence gathering, he’s more than familiar with political corruption and secrets worth killing for.

He has one objective on his current mission: uncover the mastermind orchestrating the blackmail scheme swaying votes in Congress. It was supposed to be easy. After all, nothing fazes him until he faces off with Trinity Jones, a member of a rival company.

Knox is determined to flip Trinity’s loyalties and use her to his advantage, but there there’s one problem…he can’t keep her out of his head or his heart.

As the tangled web of secrets behind the blackmail scheme unravel, Trinity is unwittingly thrust the center of it. With her life on the line, Knox will to have to decide what is more important: his mission or the woman who stole his heart.

 

I really love stories that feature strong female leads who hold their own against the men in their profession.  Trinity is a bad ass spy-in-training.  She has been training with the vile Miles for a year and has gone up against Knox on an assignment.  He’s sexy as hell and is the start of a new turn in Trinity’s life.

Trinity has had a messed up life and she thinks she has things on the right track.  There are so many skeletons’ in her closet and one by one they are coming out.  Once Knox gets involved with Trinity, she has to start to share what has happened in her past and how it connects to the political crisis Knox is investigating.

While Trinity is kick ass when we first meet her, she loses some of her grit the longer she is with Knox.  I struggled to define what was causing the change in her.  On one hand, she lets Knox take charge of the investigation, which is natural as she is somewhat new to the game.  However, for a woman who is firm on taking charge of her life, it is a struggle to reconcile the need for control with the desire to let someone help.  This was a good part of the book.  I liked that I had this wondering while reading.  It made me question the motivations behind the characters.

The relationship between Trinity and Knox was really great.  From the moment they meet, sparks fly!  I love characters with zest and sass between them.  Knox has a caring side to him and Trinity calls to those protective instincts.  Trinity has longed for stability and Knox is the first person to really provide that.  Trinity’s relationship with vile Miles has warped her view on what partnership and intimacy should be and I enjoyed watching her discover it with Knox.

Stories like this remind me of Shanna Galen’s Spy series or the movie Mr and Mrs Smith.  Sassy, witty, dangerous and lots of action!  A fun romance with a great mystery and political intrigue to go along with it!

Fighting Dirty

fighting dirty

Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster

Overview by Publisher:

With the life he’s led and the muscles he’s gained, Armie Jacobson isn’t afraid of anything. Except maybe Merissa Colter’s effect on him. It’s not just that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Fact is, she deserves better. Women pursue him for one night of pleasure, and that’s all he wants to offer. Until rescuing Merissa from a robbery leads to the most erotic encounter of his life. 

Good girl meets bad boy. It’s a story that rarely ends well. But Merissa is taking matters into her own hands. No matter how he views himself, the Armie she knows is brave, honorable and completely loyal. And as past demons and present-day danger collide, they’re both about to learn what’s truly worth fighting for…

 

You know what is great about dating a mixed martial arts athlete?  You never have to worry about anyone hurting you.  Merissa is finally getting to experience Armie as more than her brother’s friend.  She has had a huge crush on him for years and finally, he is reciprocating her lust.  I think I could feel how giddy Merissa was to finally end up in his bed.

The downside to dating a MMA fighter is the throngs of women who throw themselves at your guy.  Armie is a total man whore until he gets with Merissa.  He is not ashamed of his past, but his previous experiences are definitely there.

Armie has always felt that he wasn’t good enough for Merissa.  He is best friends with her very protective brother and is worried that he is not fit for her.  This is a familiar refrain in romance novels, but I liked how this was explored.

The secondary characters have had their own books to explore their relationships.  They are a very carnal group and sex talk frequently comes up – so if you are uncomfortable reading that you are forewarned.  The sex between Merissa and Armie is very hot!  This book does not shy away from the happenings in the bedroom.  Armie is a great lover and its fun to read about how he uses his vast experience to satisfy Merissa.

Not only is Armie getting ready for his first big fight, there is the matter of Merissa’s safety.  I liked that the story was multi-dimensional on that account.  There was the relationship between the two, the upcoming fight and the strange and violent incidents happening to Merissa.  All of these things add depth to the story.

If you are a fan of MMA and brother’s friend-little sister romances, you will enjoy this book!

My Tempting Highlander

my tempting highlander

My Tempting Highlander(A Highland Hearts Novel) by Maeve Greyson

Overview by Publisher:

Cursed to live forever with neither wife nor child, Ronan Sutherland has watched all he cherishes turn to dust—more than once. For hundreds of years, he’s been trapped behind the mists of Loch Ness, hoping to identify the one woman who is prophesied to break the spell. Now, at last, the fates have aligned, and he’s being sent into the future to fetch her. After a single glimpse, Ronan knows he’s been waiting all his life for this passionate woman.
 
Unlike her time-traveling sisters, Mairi Sinclair is perfectly content to remain in the present. As a hospital nurse in Edinburgh, she cherishes the opportunity to put her gift of healing powers to good use. But everything changes the morning a mysterious wolf darts in front of her car. Touching the wounded creature’s tawny coat, a tingle surges through her. Yet when she returns with aid, Mairi is shocked to find instead a man with broad shoulders and fire in his eyes—a man who tempts her to unleash the animal within.

I have been following this series since the start so I was so happy to get the next book to read!  I have fallen hard for time travel novels, so this series has definitely hit the spot!

What is different about this book compared to the first one is that there is more supernatural elements to it.  But what doesn’t change is the lust between a man and a woman.

I loved how the book gets going.  Ronan gets sent forward in time to convince Mairi to come back to his time.  I adored how challenging and weird the modern world is for him.  His first car ride was laugh out loud funny!  As soon as they meet, there is a spark between Ronan and Mairi – like literally a spark.  Mairi is the woman that Ronan has been searching for to break the curse.

Mairi falls for Ronan, but then the drama starts.  Ronan withholds key information, Mairi feels used and lied to, and on it goes. While they have off the charts passion between them, the times when they aren’t doing it, they are sparring.  Mairi is incredibly defensive and at times I wanted to shake her.  While Ronan doesn’t share the whole deal with her, he does so for really good reasons.

The secondary characters are wonderful!  In the modern times, Mairi’s sister and aunt are just hilarious and amazing.  In the past, Mairi has a whole castle full of family that support the plot and keep things interesting.  Most notably, they keep Mairi in the past where she is needed.

Ronan may be a couple of hundred years old, but he is no old timer in the sack.  He displays his prowess flawlessly and Mairi is one lucky lady.  He falls hard for her and definitely uses sex as an anchor for their budding relationship.  He gives Mairi such great orgasms that I am amazed she had the brain power left to find holes in his story.

I am really looking forward to the next book featuring the final sister and her adventure.  This series has been solid and entertaining.  If you are into time travelling and Highlanders, then this is for you!

Hot For The Scot

hot for the scot

Hot For The Scot (Kilted Heroes) by Janice Maynard

Overview:

It’s a dream come true for schoolteacher Hayley Smith. No homework to grade, no students to corral, no social media, Internet or cell phone…just a month amid the heather and rolling hills around Inverness. A brawny alpha male in a kilt is probably too much to ask for. But Hayley is in heaven ambling around Loch Ness, gazing and then…falling into the icy water, before being rescued by a strong, chivalrous local hero…

Retired soccer star Angus Munro, aka Angus the Angler, is a little insulted and a whole lot intrigued when Hayley doesn’t recognize him. How long has it been since anyone saw beyond his wealth and fame? And how long before the macho athlete and his modern-day American damsel in distress act on an attraction that could make even the misty Scottish moors sizzle with heat? Long enough, maybe, for both to figure out if this is an affair to remember…or the start of something everlasting…

OMG!  This book is AMAZING!  I loved every thing about this book!

The story begins with the journey of a lifetime by three best friends.  They head to Scotland since they are entranced by Outlander and Jamie Fraser.  They get to Scotland and split up, intending to have an adventure in a different city that called to them.  They are going off the grid – no cellphones, no internet and no social media.  This book reminded me very much of Finding Fraser, but it was just SO charming.

Hailey is falls head first into Loch Ness and is rescued by a gorgeous Scot.  Charming and awkward, they have an adorable first encounter.  Hailey doesn’t know that she has been rescued by a recently retired Manchester United Football player.  I don’t follow football and even I know what a big deal Manchester U is.  Angus has returned home to his quiet and sleepy Scottish town to figure out what to do with his life now that his professional career is over.

Hailey and Angus are both at crossroads in life – figuring out who they are and what they want.  Since they are both in their early thirties, they aren’t playing around anymore in matters of the heart.  What was so great was the chemistry between the two.  The relationships that Hailey develops with the occupants of the town and with Angus are just so authentic.

The passion and lust between Hailey and Angus was palpable.  I truly felt their yearning for each other.  Just like life, things seem to get in the way of consummating the deed and the delayed gratification was so engaging.  Angus, was not perfect, but man, he made me want to run away to Scotland to find a guy like him.

The book really explores finding a place in life where one is comfortable.  Examining what you value in life and what you are willing to risk in order to experience that once in a lifetime opportunity.  I really enjoyed the fact that Hailey and Angus’ issues and problems were not solved magically by being together, but they realized that being happy together was a good start.  Hailey wanted to experience new adventures and she certainly has a wonderful one with Angus.

This book has all the things that I hope to find when I start a book.  It had great characters, wonderful dialogue, a sexy man and hot passion.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series and see where the adventure leads next!

Big Rock

big rock

Big Rock by Lauren Blakely

Overview by Amazon:

It’s not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It’s definitely the SIZE of the boat too. 
And I’ve got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big c&$k. 
You might think I’m an as%*$le. I sound like one, don’t I? I’m hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse. 
Guess what? You haven’t heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind. 
The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancée for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.
And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets. 

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her. 

What the hell have I gotten myself into with this…big rock? 

FUN!  EXCITING!  ENGAGING!  SEXY!  This book is great!  I rarely veer off my to-be-read list, since it is so long, but last night I needed a fun, quick and SEXY book to read.  A special treat after a really long day at work.  I blasted through this book last night because I loved it so very much1

This is the second book that I have read from the male point of view.  Spencer was such a fun character and very honest that I fell in love with him by the second page.

He gets himself into a tricky situation and needs his best friend and business partner to help him out.  So begins the fun times with Charlotte.  From the start, it was clear that they were doing more than taking a test drive on what a relationship together would be like.  I adored when Charlotte challenges him to kiss her to make it believable.  I think I was just as hot as she was!

What makes this book work is that the characters are really likeable.  It’s not like they don’t do things wrong or make mistakes, but they have good intentions. Spencer is definitely a guy and very into his dick, but what guy isn’t?  The way that he views Charlotte is so beautiful.  I think I realized that I would love to be seen like how he views her.

It definitely doesn’t hurt that the book features a healthy dose of humour and sex.  Humour first – the author creates situations that have you chuckling and laughing.  Charlotte and the balloons make me laugh out loud.  While this book is very sexy – man, do these two know how to make sparks happen, the sex is not outrageously explicit.  The sex is so hot, but also touching.

I loved how best friends who share gummi bears become so twisted with the fake engagement.  Their confusion and excitement makes the story so realistic and engaging.  While it wasn’t a huge surprise how the book would end, I have to say that it was so lovely and the perfect ending.

I was looking for a book that would keep me engaged, and I definitely found that.  I really enjoyed the sexy story of friends turned lovers.  If you are looking for a story that will have you laughing, hot and hoping, then this is a book for you!

A Gentleman’s Game

a gentlemans game

A Gentleman’s Game by Theresa Romain

Overview:

In Book One of Romance of the Turf, a refreshing new Regency series from rising star Theresa Romain, a mystery demanding to be solved brings unlikely allies together in more ways than one

How far will a man go
Talented but troubled, the Chandler family seems cursed by bad luck-and so Nathaniel Chandler has learned to trade on his charm. He can broker a deal with anyone from a turf-mad English noble to an Irish horse breeder. But Nathaniel’s skills are tested when his stable of trained Thoroughbreds become suspiciously ill just before the Epsom Derby, and he begins to suspect his father’s new secretary is not as innocent as she seems.

To win a woman’s secretive heart?
Nathaniel would be very surprised if he knew why Rosalind Agate was really helping his family in their quest for a Derby victory. But for the sake of both their livelihoods, Rosalind and Nathaniel must set aside their suspicions. As Derby Day draws near, her wit and his charm make for a successful investigative team…and light the fires of growing desire. But Rosalind’s life is built on secrets and Nathaniel’s on charisma, and neither defense will serve them once they lose their hearts…

This book reminded me of Stephanie Laurens book, A Rogue’s Proposal, which centres around the horse racing circuit in Newmarket.  This new series by Theresa Romain will also explore the community.

What was similar to A Rogue’s Proposal was the mystery and intrigue around horse racing.  Of course there is a love story embedded within as well.  Rosalind is serving as Sir William’s secretary but she has been placed there to spy on him and gather specific information.

Rosalind catches the attention of Nathaniel as they are forced to travel together.  The romance blooms slowly, but naturally.  Both have their past demons that they battle as the relationship forces them to look inside.

What I found the most engaging is the mysterious plot of Rosalind’s past.  Her Aunt Annie saved her when she was injured when she was thirteen.  For the next ten years, Rosalind has been indentured to her and works to gather information for the mysterious ‘Tranc’.  This was a part of the plot that had me guessing and wondering the most.  What was the information for?  What mystery surrounded Sir William?  What connection did Rosalind’s previous posts have with this one?  Would she ever be free?

The secrets of Aunt Annie and Rosalind threaten to destroy everything, but that is what made the book interesting.  The romance between Nathaniel and Rosalind is sweet and the future they may have together is threatened by the servitude that Rosalind is forced into.  Since the two were linked, it made the stakes even higher.

A fun, sweet story that has a great mystery at the heart of it!  A good start to a new series by Theresa Romain.

In the Kingdom’s Name

in the kingdoms name

In the Kingdom’s Name (Guardian of Scotland) by Amy Jarecki

Overview:

Can history rewrite itself? As the time of treachery draws near, hope is but a fleeting whisper.

After his success at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, William Wallace becomes Guardian of Scotland and is thrown into the machinations of court. But when disaster strikes, the love of his life, Eva MacKay, is hurled back to the twenty first century. Frantically she tries to return, only to face failure with her every attempt. In this tale of breathtaking love and heartbreaking farewells, destiny twists and turns until all hope expires…But does it?

 

This was an amazing, amazing book!  I loved reading every word on the page.  When I first opened the book I was a little worried because it is the conclusion to the story of William and Eva, but it did not detract whatsoever from my enjoyment.  If anything, it made the first book go to the top of my TBR pile.

I think it is a sign of a great book when I wonder about things while reading.  I really wondered if I had the heart to read this book knowing what happens to William Wallace in history. Since the book is so historically accurate, it was a no brainer what the end result would be.  I wouldn’t say this story is a slave to history, but rather a fictional love story woven into the gaps and moments of a great man’s life.

What I gathered from the first book is that Eva is given a medallion from a professor and falls back in time.  She is found by William in the midst of a battle and he saves her.  My heart kind of hurt that I hadn’t read the beginning of their romance, as it is one for the ages.  The medallion has one rule – don’t change the past.  Eva is constrained by her actions and words.  Each time she gets dangerously close to changing something, either through tending to a gravely ill man or sharing some wisdom, the medallion gets hot as a warning.

Since I haven’t read the first book, it is made clear that William knows that she is from the future.  There has been times in the past that she has gotten too close to the edge and has paid the price.  Because she loves William so deeply, she is exceedingly careful not to reveal the future to him or anyone.

What was so great about this story is the love between William and Eva.  We get a glimpse into the warrior and how the battles – victorious and failures- weighed on his shoulders.  Through Eva’s eyes, the reader witnesses history and what it would have felt like to have been there.  William Wallace is a mythical legend and through this book, I feel like I understand the devotion he felt for Scotland and the events that led up to the reign of Robert the Bruce.

William and Eva were a fantastic couple.  Their passion for one another was the stuff of daydreams.  I adored that they supported each other and their love was the foundation of the story.  Simple things the author develops, such as his eyes searching for her when returning from a raid and the simple nod to acknowledge her importance.  Those little gestures, were strong enough to shine a light on the depth of the relationship.

I never could have imagined how this story would progress.  I did not see the twists and turns the author takes the lovers on.  While I definitely know the story of William Wallace (as has anyone who has seen Braveheart), I did not know how Amy Jarecki would leave the reader satisfied after such an all consuming romance.  She must be a magician – because it’s like she pulled a rabbit out of a hat.  I almost wept when I read how the love of Eva and William survived centuries.  This book was immensely satisfying and engaging.  Passionate characters who scorch the pages with their love of Scotland and for each other.  If you are a fan of Scottish history and love stories, this is definitely a book you need to read.  I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this story – my heart ached, my head was racing and my eyes couldn’t read fast enough.