Tag Archives: reunited lovers

Mogul

Mogul (Knickerbocker Club Series) by Joanna Shupe

mogul

Overview by Publisher:

As owner of a well-respected national newspaper, Calvin Cabot has the means to indulge his capricious taste for excess—and the power to bring the upper crust of society to its knees. So when a desperate heiress from his past begs for his help, Calvin agrees . . . as long as she promises to stay out of his way. Except, like the newsman, this willful beauty always gets what she wants . . .

Lillian Davies lives a life brimming with boundless parties, impressive yachts, and exotic getaways. But when her brother disappears, Lily knows that blood runs thicker than champagne and she’ll spare nothing to bring him back alive. Unfortunately, the only man who can help her is the one she never wanted to see again. Can Lily keep Calvin at arm’s length long enough to save her brother and protect her name . . . even when the tenacious powerbroker turns out to be absolutely irresistible?

This is a really great series!  It’s set in the gilded age of America which is a departure from most historical romance novels.  It’s a very interesting time in the world and the author Joanna Shupe has definitely done her research to make the series authentic.

I have a weakness for books that feature reunited lovers.  Calvin and Lily were briefly married.  We are lucky that we get an upclose and intimate view of their honeymoon in the Poconos.  It was really smart to begin the story with these lush and lusty passages as it really gives the reader a clear view of the relationship between Calvin and Lily as they find their way back to each other.

A Chinese under lord is blackmailing Lily and Calvin to get something valuable back that Lily’s brother took.  This conveniently throws them together and after four years apart, they have a lot to catch up on.  What makes this story work so well is the attention to details.  The treatment of the Chinese immigrants to America is highlighted and how unfair the policies of the time were.  Racism is shown without glossing over how society viewed foreigners at that time.  I appreciated that the author didn’t gloss over this or romanticize it.

The heart of the story is the relationship between Calvin and Lily.  Members of the Knickerbocker Club (and previous book characters) make appearance, but the heart of it is the reunion between the two.  Since they had been married, the action between the two gets hot quickly.  There are some pretty memorable love scenes in this book.  Calvin is a man of words and Lily is a woman of action.  They make a formidable pair.  I couldn’t put the book down as I couldn’t wait to find out how the story unfolded.

Joanna Shupe presents the characters with all their flaws.  Calvin and Lily are not perfect.  Calvin has an aversion to telling the truth.  He would fit right in as a political pundit on CNN with how he manipulates and bends the truth to suit his purposes – even if they are noble.  Lily was headstrong and could be impetus with her actions.  However, they compliment each other and as I got to know them, I fell in love with them.

This is the last book in the Knickerbocker series, which is great!  It starts with a short novella and is followed by three full length books.  Joanna is a confident and adept writer who takes the standard recipe for historical romance and infuses it with interesting and engaging characters and plot.  The book comes out January 31st.

Kill Without Shame

Kill Without Shame (Ares Security) by Alexandra Ivy

kill-without-shame

Overview by Publisher:

Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.

Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves…

This book blends suspense and romance.  Mia is the subject of attempts on her life and in swoops her high school lover, Lucas.  The story takes place in the South USA and embodies all the class divisions and small town conventions you would expect.  Not only do Mia and Lucas have to deal with a murderous plot, they struggle to get figure out if the past is really the past.

Reunited lovers is always an intriguing trope.  The author is heavy handed with the force of Lucas’ reintroduction to Mia’s life.  He shows up one day at her office and insinuates himself into her present day – reminding her of the past they shared.  High school sweethearts, Lucas broke her heart when he took off for the military.  They have had no contact for fifteen years, yet when Lucas returns, romance is pretty high up on his list.

Not only does Lucas want Mia, he wants to keep her safe.  The suspenseful mystery was well developed and had quite a few twists and turns that it kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who dunnit.  The author gives us enough insight into Lucas and his abrupt intervention into Mia’s life.  The reunion is not unexplained, which I appreciated as the reader.  The relationship between the two is strong.  While they may have changed over the years, there is still passion.  Mia doesn’t just fall into Lucas’ arms –  she makes him work for it, which is greatly satisfying!

This is a fast paced romance with some excellent suspense!

One Summer of Surrender

One Summer of Surrender (Seasons Series) by Jess Michaels

one-summer-of-surrender

Overview by Publisher:

Lucien, the Earl of Stenfax has been engaged twice, but only in love once. That was with his childhood sweetheart, Elise. When she threw him over for a man with more money and a higher ranking title, it broke him. Now she’s widowed and he finds himself drawn to her again, like a moth to her flame.

Elise had her reasons for walking away from Lucien, reasons he doesn’t understand. Back in Society, she’s now financially desperate and is even considering becoming someone’s mistress. But Lucien keeps appearing at the most inopportune moments and it’s only a matter of time before the desire between them explodes.

Time will tell if Lucien will be able to see past his lusty drive for revenge. And if Elise can convince him she’s worthy of more, despite the past.

I read this book in one day.  It is not that it’s a short book, but rather it’s so engaging that I couldn’t put it down.

Lucien has made an appearance in the other Seasons books, but this time he gets to face his past.  Years ago, Lucien was set to marry Elise.  He loved her and had for years.  Unexpectedly, she broke off the engagement and married a cold, dastardly duke.  Three years later, she is a widow – and free.

The years haven’t been kind to Elise.  Married to a man she hated, controlled by his heir and desperate.  She sees her only path to freedom as a courtesan.  Her attempts at finding a protector are stymied again and again by the last man she thought she’d see…Lucien.

This story is one of redemption, secrets, love and missed opportunities.  I found this to be a heart wrenching tale.  Elise has done Lucien and his family wrong.  She has never been able to apologize or give her reasons for her betrayal of Lucien’s love.  The past two books have heavily hinted that a reconciliation was in the works for these two, but at times it seems impossible.

While Elise and Lucien can’t stop the physical attraction between them, they don’t bother to try.  This is what I love about Jess Michael’s books.  There is so much passion and lust between her characters.  Hard, fast, slow, lingering, there is a multitude of touch between the two and the lucky recipient is the reader.  This author knows her way around a love scene and isn’t afraid to use sex as a great plot twist.

This is a story of love lost and found.  If you have read the previous books in the series (which I recommend), you will enjoy seeing familiar faces again.  The story ends without a central plotline being resolved, but it sets up the final book in the series!  I highly recommend this book and the series!

Stormswept

Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries

stormswept

Overview by Publisher:

New York Times bestseller Sabrina Jeffries reignites a daring love affair in this intriguing tale of desire and deception—originally written as Deborah Martin and newly revised for today’s audience.

The first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband’s driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mourned the loss of her love.

The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different—bolder, harder, and convinced that she’d betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust—to the love they once shared and would have to find again?

Ahhh, the folly of young love.  Rhys and Juliana meet as young and impressionable lovers.  Rhys is a passionate Welshman who is fighting for his countrymen.  Juliana is young and swept away by passion and love.  They elope in order to be together, but they are separated soon after the wedding night.  You know it’s never going to go well with a hasty elopement!

This is a complex story of deceit and manipulations.  It’s a classic historical romance novel with all the key elements that make them sweeping sagas.

After six years, Juliana is made to face the decisions of her past.  Rhys is back and putting a stop to her engagement to an English Lord.  He doesn’t believe that she didn’t have a hand in having him impressed into the Navy in order to get out of their hasty marriage.

It becomes a cat and mouse game for Rhys.  Can he ever find the truth about who ruined his life?  Can he believe anything that Juliana says?  Why is he lusting after his wife’s body and mind when she ruined him?

Life for Juliana is difficult.  She is no longer mistress of her home and she is tired of Rhys not believing her.  If there is to be a future between the two, he needs to believe in her.

This book does not disappoint – it is the quintessential historical romance novel.  There is political strife with the clash between the Welsh and English, deceit and betrayal and lust.  I found it compelling it read and was engaged in the reconciliation between the two.

 

His To Love

his to love

His to Love by Stacey Lynn

Overview by Netgalley:

Tyson Blackwell never saw it coming when his Mafia princess girlfriend dumped him and disappeared at the age of eighteen. He never forgot her, either, even after what happened next: the killing of his father, a Detroit PD officer, at the hands of one of her father’s men. Tyson swore revenge, and now, ten years later, the kid who dreamed of a pro football career is a hard-nosed FBI agent, back in town to take down the Galecki crime family once and for all. But Tyson’s mission gets complicated fast—because going undercover means seducing the only woman he’s ever loved.

Gabriella “Blue” Galecki has been in hiding for a decade. She finally comes home to spend time with her terminally ill mother, only to receive a blast from the past when she runs into Tyson. His brooding eyes and electrifying touch still send chills down her spine. But as heir to the family empire, Blue has been promised to another. Caught in a web of deception, she is tempted to pull the trigger on the boldest risk she’s ever taken: trusting Tyson with her life, her body, and her heart.

I have been reading a lot of books lately that feature the mob.  I don’t know why that is, but it’s clear that this new sub genre of contemporary romance novels is really popular!  I think it has to do with the danger element along with the internal struggle characters’ face between family, justice and love.

This book features Tyson who is working for the FBI and is assigned to reunite with his high school love Blue.  Right around graduation, with star in their eyes and love for each other, she disappeared and it’s been ten long years since they have seen each other.  Blue comes from a mafia type family and Tyson is the son of a cop.  A more unlikely pair, along the lines of Romeo and Juliet, you would be hard pressed to find.

We come to understand that Blue’s father sent her away for her love affair with Tyson.  Living and working on her Aunt’s hippie farm in Colorado, Blue has found some measure of peace in her life.  Her mother is dying and she has been summoned home to Detroit.  Tyson intercepts Blue and the game of lies begins.

What isn’t a lie in this book is the reality of the situation. One, Tyson and Blue still have electric chemistry and their time together is just hotter and heavier than their teen years.  Two, Blue’s father is still deep in the underworld and is looking to make her the princess and heir to his kingdom.  Three, Tyson is not going to stop until he has Blue’s father in custody – especially since her father had his father killed for investigating him.

Whew!  With these truths, the story could be heavy and dark, but the light in the book is Blue.  She is so far from a mafia princess.  She wants to work, live on her own and fall in love with her choice of Mr. Right.  While she doesn’t know that Tyson is using her to get close to her father, she is reveling in the newness of their reunion.  It’s pretty sweet how quickly the heart and body remembers the first love.  I wanted it to be real between Tyson and Blue because they were so good together.

Of course there are complications and the truth always comes out.  I really enjoyed how the author unwound the knots the plot was tied up in.  She slowly and carefully revealed just enough pieces to keep the reader entertained and engaged.

This is a story that highlights the love and lust of reunited lovers, but also has a dark and dangerous side as well.  I really enjoyed the heightened sense of drama the law element brought to the plot, but I was a sucker for the great romance between Tyson and Blue.

Final Target

Final Target (Dublin Mafia:  Triskelion Team #1) by Zara Keane

final target

Overview by Publisher:

 

This book reminded me a lot of Georgia Cates Sin series.  Instead of being centered around Scottish mafia, it’s Ireland.  Both books feature a female lead who is an agent for the FBI/MI6.  So, I had high hopes that this book would be similar in style and plot.

This is a stand alone book within the new series.  Unlike the Sin Trilogy, the next story will feature another family member instead of continuing Lar and Moira’s saga.

A lot of this story is centered around the events of five years ago when Moira was undercover in Boston and dating Lar.  She has come to Dublin to get close to Lar’s uncle Frank who she thinks was responsible for the bomb that killed her family in Northern Ireland.

There is a lot of plot in this story – but somehow is all seems to work.  I am just realizing how much complexity there is to the story and how many pieces there are to the puzzle.  Moira is a tough cookie.  She is a strong woman who is willing to do whatever it takes to get her results.  I think this is how this book differs from other contemporary romance novels.  Neither Lar or Moira are innocent.  They have done things that are considered contemptible in our society.

The romance between the two isn’t really romance.  It’s lust and possession.  Lar in still in love with Moira, regardless of the strippers and porn stars who grace his bed.  Although he did think she was dead.  Moira can’t stay away from Lar and keeping secrets gets even harder.

This book was really about two people reconnecting and working together to find the truth about the twisted past of the Irish mafias and IRA.  I found the mystery plot intriguing and it looks like I will have to read the next book to find out as the story ends on a cliffhanger.  I liked the connection between Lar and Moira and how they found their way back to each other.  While Lar and Moira are not the most likeable characters, they fit in well with the circumstances and the setting.  While this book isn’t the same as the Sin Series, it’s still an interesting look at the IRA and the mafia in Ireland.

Hawke

Hawke (Cold Fury Novel) by Sawyer Bennett

hawke

Overview by Publisher:

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.
 
Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.

God, I love hockey novels!  And I REALLY love hockey themed books written by Sawyer Bennett.  This woman can write!  She can take characters that I have little in common with and make them so engaging!

The story opens with a young Hawke and Vale and the night after a rowdy party.  I don’t think I have ever partied as hard as they have, so that was tough to relate to.  Vale doesn’t come to say goodbye to Hawke as he is leaving for his shot at the NHL again.  In fact, she breaks his heart and sends him away without her love.

Seven years later, Hawke is new the Cold Fury franchise and so is Vale.  It was coincidence that has them crossing paths so many years later.  Hawke is now a top tier player and Vale is a physical trainer in sports medicine.  So much has now changed…

Vale no longer has multiple face piercings and jagged haircuts, she is all business now.    Hawke is surprised by the package but still sees the woman he can’t forget.  Vale is cool and professional to her former love, but she can’t deny the attraction is still there.

Through the memories and thoughts of Hawke and Vale, we learn about their previous relationship. How hot it was, how wild the sex, how out of control their lives were and how they have matured past those teen years.  So you know that if things were that hot in the past, they will get hot again!

These two are just so sexy together.  I couldn’t help but be enraptured with their romance and lust.  Sawyer Bennett knows how to write sex scenes that women want to read.  She captures the nuances and images that arrest the attention and heighten the reading experience.

But it isn’t just sex that the author writes well, she crafts stories with great emotional depth.  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how emotional the story became.  There was a lot of twists and turns and plot points that I did not see coming.  I enjoy a story that has the capacity to surprise me.

As a Canadian, I truly appreciated the research the author did regarding our national pastime.  She accurately describes the junior minor hockey league system and pays homage to Sydney, Nova Scotia.  It’s just touches like this that add to the authenticity of the story.

I am loving this series!  I really have a thing for sports contemporary romance books, and this series in particular.  Sawyer Bennett is a terrific author.  She creates such dynamic characters and seriously sexy men!  With each book, I fall a little more in love with her!

I Kissed a Rogue

I Kissed A Rogue by Shana Galen

i kissed a rogue

Overview by Publisher:

Once she spurned the man…
When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again—the perfect girl who broke his heart…

Now her life depends on him

Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection—at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London, but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.

I loved this book!  Shana Galen is one of my favourite authors, so it pained me greatly to have to wait to read this book, as my to-be-read list was so long!

This series has been fantastic!  The Covent Gardens series has dealt with the collision of the slums of Regency England and the aristocracy.  Sir Brook Derring is an investigator and a very good one at that.  We have seen him in the previous books and this is his story.

As a young man, Brook fell head over heels in love with Lila.  She not only broke his hear with her callous treatment, she crushed him.  He has never forgotten nor forgiven her.  So it was the perfect back story for this book!

I loved how Shana Galen wasn’t afraid to make Lila an unlikeable character.  She didn’t shy away from the wretched things in Lila’s past.  She was someone that I would have not enjoyed reading about seven years before.  Lila has to face the past, the mistakes she made and how they effected the man who had loved the spoiled brat she was.

In order to protect Lila, Brook is forced into a sham marriage and then a secluded ‘honeymoon’.  This could not be worse for him.  He has zero intention of remaining married to her, but something magical happens…he gets to know the real Lila.  I loved that this story has the theme of forgiveness and redemption running through it.  Shana Galen take a wholly unlikeable young lady and gives her the depth of life experience to change the narrative.

The feeling of Brook’s betrayal and heartache is palpable in his words and actions.  His anger is understandable and this sucks in the reader by making you care deeply about what will happen to set things to right between the two.

While emotions are difficult for the two to reconcile, the sexual chemistry is not.  While there are always some great lusty scenes in Shana’s stories, this book was exceptional.  Brook delights in teaching his young wife the benefits of marriage – even a sham one.  It’s the intimacy they develop that opens the door to revising the past.

Once again, Shana Galen has written a fantastic story.  This book has wonderful characters, emotional depth and some fantastic intrigue that had me guessing the whole time.  I have really enjoyed this series and the outstanding characters.

The Heat is On!

The Heat is On (Sonic Baseball Series) by Katie Rose

the heat is on
Overview by Netgalley:

When veteran catcher Connor Jackson gets traded to the New Jersey Sonics, he welcomes the opportunity to possibly cap his career with a World Series ring in his home state. But there’s another reason Connor is glad things have come full circle. In pursuit of hardball glory, he left behind his college sweetheart, the one girl he could never forget. Seeing her again stirs up long-lost desires . . . and this time, he’s determined not to strike out.

A divorced mother of four, Tracy Coleman no longer aspires to gossip-mag glam—but she’ll make an exception for a date with Connor. Their chemistry is hotter than ever, and being alone with him is more seductive than she anticipated. Who could blame her for leaving out a little detail like the kids? Now all she has to do is come clean and convince the man of her dreams that they—Connor, Tracy, and her children—have a future together.

I am really loving this series by Katie Rose. The Sonics are an upcoming and coming baseball team from New Jersey and each book in the series has featured hot, talented and caring men that find the perfect woman.

I am such a sucker for the reunited lovers trope. Tracey and Connor were college sweethearts whose relationship ended when his baseball career took off. We don’t get the post mortem of how things ended, however it doesn’t really matter because things are back on!

Connor is at the end of his career and is home for his final season. He is contemplating life and what he wants now. Tracey has ended her marriage and is now a single mother of four little ones. Her ex-husband is such a douche that it made me mad to read about him.

Once Connor gets back in New Jersey, he meets up with Tracey. I loved the shock he got when he met all four kids. Things between Tracey and Connor are hot and heavy, but she comes with more than just a failed marriage.

I found this book to be great! I really liked how Tracey’s life was so normal – carpool, trips to the park and babysitters. It really is out of this world that Connor is back and his life is just so exciting. It was enjoyable how realistic the author made the story. Tracey fretted about the impact of her relationship on her children and their needs were first. Anyone who has ever had a newborn or toddler will laugh at some of the love scenes (which are really hot) when they have to be quiet so as not to wake the children. That amazing time when kids go to bed and you get to do all the adult things you have put on hold – Katie Rose manages to accurately capture the reality and still make it sexy!

If you are into baseball players and like to read about the dynamics of the team, as well as a sweet and sexy romance, then add this one to your list!

Susana and The Scot

Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York

susana and the scot

 

Overview by Netgalley:

 

Scotland, 1813.

A SCANDALOUS TEMPTATION
Andrew Lochlannach is famous for his conquests, on and off the battlefield. When a fellow warrior challenges him to a kissing contest, he wastes no time in planting his lips on ninety-nine lovely lasses-an impressive feat of seduction that gets him banished to the hinterlands. Still, Andrew has no regrets about his exploits-especially his embrace with the most beguiling woman he’s ever met…

AN UNDENIABLE PASSION
With flaming red hair and a temper to match, Susana is not some innocent farmgirl who gives herself over easily to a man, even one as ruggedly handsome as Andrew. The wicked Scot may have won a kiss from the headstrong beauty in a moment of mutual desire, but Susana refuses to be just another one of his conquests. Andrew must convince the fiery lass that even though he is not playing a game, losing her is not an option…

 

The first book in this series, Hannah and the Highlander, was such a pleasant surprise!  I loved every minute of reading that book, so of course I had to snatch up the next book when I saw it on Netgalley.

 

This time, the story revolves around the home that Hannah left behind and her sister, Susana who is guarding the keep.  Susana was a great character! She is feisty and quick witted.  I loved that she would shoot her would-be-suitors in the arse to keep them away!  Her daughter Isobel was such a treasure.  Many question if Isobel is really only five years old and I had the exact same thoughts! I loved the pair that the two made.

 

Andrew has come to secure the keep and provide additional forces.  From the start it is a battle of wits and control between Andrew and Susana.  But it is about more than the protection of the keep.  In a past life these two knew each other and the story revolves around them finding their way back to each other.

 

So why will you like this book?  Why should you invest time in this series?  Well, there is a very hot Scot who has a wicked sense of humour and a great smile to charm with.  Second, I am such a sucker for the reunited lovers trope.  Sabrina York does a great job in keeping the reader on the edge of their seat to see who will capitulate first and it’s delicious when they do!  Finally, this book is more than just a book about Scotland, or keeps or danger.  It has all of those things, but the underlying themes of forgiveness, family and redemption are so finely developed.  I love a story where the undertones and themes breathe life into the characters and make them multi-dimensional.

 

If you are a fan of Scottish historical romances, then add this book, along with Hannah and the Highlander to your list!  ASAP!