ARC Review: Mine To Keep

Mine to KeepMine To Keep (Mine #2) by Cynthia Eden
Pages: 280
Publisher: Cynthia Eden
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Release Date: September 16, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis:

Love is the most dangerous obsession…

Skye Sullivan is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. She survived a brutal stalker and escaped his abduction, and now she is looking to the future—a future that includes Skye’s lover, billionaire Trace Weston. Skye thinks the danger is finally over for her.

She’s dead wrong.

When Trace’s past comes back to haunt him, Skye discovers that the man she loves isn’t quite who he seems to be. Trace has been leading a double-life. An ex-special forces agent, his military training turned him into the perfect killing machine. He made more than his share of enemies during his time in the military—and as he built his security empire—and one of those enemies is striking back.

He won’t lose her.

Skye is the one weapon that can be used against Trace—his only vulnerability. But he won’t let her go—he can’t. Trace will do anything necessary to protect Skye. Anything. Yet when she discovers the secrets that he’s tried to keep hidden, Skye’s pain and rage may send her running directly into the cross-hairs of a killer…

Author’s Note: MINE TO KEEP is a sexy romantic suspense novel. It contains violence, strong language, and hot adult situations. Please consider yourself warned. Thank you.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Mine series and the conclusion to the first Mine To Take. I will mention that the first does not end in a cliff hanger; it ends in a nice spot.  Mine To Keep picks up 4 weeks after the end of Mine To Take. These must be read in order, so I’ll try not to rehash book one or spoil this one.

I was glad to get more of Skye and Trace’s story. This one is a mystery full of angst. Skye is dealing with the aftermath of her abduction including nightmares and Trace’s need to protect her. She is a strong woman to have dealt with all that she has in her life. Finally Skye has the only thing she’s ever wanted, Trace, but now they have to figure out who is out to destroy him by killing her. We see a lot more of Skye’s strength and determination.

Trace is just as alpha and hot in this story. We get to know him so much more and what he’s been through during the 10 years he was away from Skye. Trace has done some bad, dangerous, good, and painful things while in and out of the military. It’s a mission from the past that comes back to haunt him and Skye. He has to eventually tell Skye the truth about his past if he’s going to protect and keep her. It’s after he opens up that their love really grows, if you thought it was intense in the first book you were wrong. I feel more for Trace than in the Mine To Take.

This has just about everything romance, HOT sex, angst, and mystery. I have to say that I figured it out sooner than I would’ve liked and that left me feeling as if it was drug out; but it was still a fantastic “who done it” to solve. Noah is also introduced and I can’t for his story.

 Mine To Keep on Amazon

Review: Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash

Thoroughbred and Trailer TrashThoroughbreds and Trailer Trash by Bev Pettersen
Pages: 276
Publisher: Westerhall
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: March 28, 2012
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆

Blurb:

Jenna Murphy, a dedicated horse masseuse, relies on her job and street smarts to support what’s most important…her younger sister. But when the Thoroughbred Wellness Center experiences a hostile takeover headed by a charming but ruthless corporate shark, both her heart and career are in jeopardy.

My Thoughts:

When I read the title I just had to read this one! I’m glad I did, I really liked it. This was my first Bev Pettersen book. I will be reading more of them.

This is a sexy and heartwarming romance from an author who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to horses and writes as if her readers are smart enough to understand. The story flows nicely and the conversations felt real along with the characters.

Jenna is a very believable, soft hearted, and strong character. She’s trying to make sure her sister gets a college education and working her butt off as horse masseuse to do it. The challenges she faces, her loneliness, and Derek. Both Jenna and Derek have issues that have to deal with in order to come together and love each other.

THOROUGHBREDS AND TRAILER TRASH on AMAZON

ARC Review: Crimson Night

Crimson Night

Crimson Night (Night, #1) by Marie Hall
Pages: 300
Publisher: Marie Hall Publishing
Review Source: publisher/author
Release Date: September 5, 2013
My Rating: 5 ★★★★★

Blurb:

Welcome to Carnivale Diabolique ― or what I affection ally like to call the circus of the damned.

My name is Pandora, and though my face might not seem familiar to you, you do know me. I’m a Nephilim. What does that mean? I’m half demon, what’s my other name? Lust. I’m the dark craving that drives you mad, makes you want, makes you reckless and stupid. I’m the drug you’ll do anything to get your hands on. But I’m not all bad. I fight for light, for goodness and truth. I love my job; killing vampires and werewolves, zombies, and freaks… it’s what makes me happy.

But people are starting to disappear and lately I’ve felt a dark presence lurking around me. I think it might be a death priest, that’s not good. There isn’t much a demon like me fears, but I fear them. This should have been easy, me killing the fanged freaks, getting rid of my pesky priest problem, but I’m about to be betrayed by the one person I thought I could trust with my life and before the night is through I’ll be covered in crimson..

My Thoughts:

I usually only give 5 stars to books I know I’ll re-read and this one is no exception. This is an excellent first book to a series. The first part of the book is devoted to character introduction and world building. Not only are the MCs fully developed; I got to know and like the secondary characters and their unique personalities.  I spent a summer working for a traveling carnival when I was young (great way to see the south) and Marie Hall brings Carnivale Diabolique to life. I could see and smell the midway. I fell into the story from page one and didn’t put it down until I finished it really late at night. I loved everything about this story from the plot and characters to the fact that the writing was faultless (to my eyes anyway).  The pacing was quick and perfect for the book.

Pandora is one of the strongest paranormal heroines I’ve read in a while. Don’t get me wrong she has her issues to deal with, anyone of her age and having another to share your mind and body would. Pandora also sees herself as weak at times and she’s so far from it.

The mystery/suspense kept me turning the pages. It wasn’t so easy to figure out and it was just enough angst to keep me on the edge, but not so much that it got frustrating.  The sex was well done with the right amount of detail that it was very hot and steamy without overwhelming the rest of the book.

I’m impatiently waiting for the story to continue. I recommend this to anyone looking for a well written paranormal that will have you laughing and then tearing up at times this is the one for you.

Follow Marie Hall:
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ARC Review: Stay With Me (With Me #1)

Stay With MeStay With Me (With Me #1) by Elyssa Patrick
Pages: 270
Publisher: Elyssa Patrick
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Release Date: August 30, 2013
Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

New Adult/Contemporary Romance – recommended for ages 17 and up.

With one look, I’m his . . .

With one touch, he’s mine . . .

With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .

I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.

But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.

Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.

Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.

Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I was attracted by the cover and it just got better from there. It has a nice steady pace and the story flows nicely. There is no OTT drama or angst. The focus is on the loving relationship and the growth of the characters.

Hailey is a young woman who is escaping fame and the trappings that go with it to try for a “normal” life and college education. She has been famous all her life; starting out as the Gerber Baby and going on to singing and acting. Hailey has been pushed her entire life by her mother, who is the one who really wanted the fame and money. Hailey is trying to figure out who she really is and what she wants to do with her life. A relationship doesn’t fit into her plans, but Caleb turns out to be too hard to resist.

Caleb is sexy, loving, tender, and solid. He knows what he wants and has the patience to wait for it and the understanding of how to fight for it when needed. He sees Hailey, not THE Hailey. Caleb is there for her from the beginning, letting her come to him on her own time. Proving his love and that he can be trusted by actions as well as words. Caleb helps Hailey figure out a lot of things by simply being there and accepting her for who she is no matter what.

Daphne is one of Caleb’s little sisters and is a freshman like Hailey. Daphne is another person who accepts Hailey and they become fast friends. She is also very funny; I can’t wait for her story.

Overall, this is a great book with an ending. It is a stand-alone as the next book is about another character. I do wish there would be more for Hailey and Caleb. It feels like their story has just started and I hate to leave them. I feel I should mention that there were a few typos, but nothing that took me out of the story.

Book Trailer:

ARC Review: The Hero (Thunder Point #3)

The HeroThe Hero (Thunder Point #3) by Robyn Carr
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb:

In a moment of desperation, Devon McAllister takes her daughter and flees a place where they should have been safe and secure. She has no idea what is around the next bend, but she is pretty certain it can’t be worse than what they’ve left behind. Her plan is to escape to somewhere she can be invisible. Instead, an unexpected offer of assistance leads her to Thunder Point, a tiny Oregon town with a willingness to help someone in need.

As the widowed father of a vulnerable young boy, Spencer Lawson knows something about needing friendship. But he’s not looking for anything else. Instead, he’s thrown his energy into his new role as Thunder Point’s high school football coach. Tough and demanding to his team, off the field he’s gentle and kind…just the kind of man who could heal Devon’s wounded heart.

Devon thought she wanted to hide from the world. But in Thunder Point, you find bravery where you least expect it…and sometimes, you find a hero.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit I love the Thunder Point series, but this may be my favorite yet. I’m going to make this as spoiler free as I can.

Devon is a very strong young woman who digs even deeper inside to save her daughter. She is “rescued” by Rawley and we learn so much more about him in this one. He helps Devon to adjust to society again and gain confidence in herself. Through all this she’s a good mother and grows every day, it was heartening to watch the whole town support her and care for her even though they knew her and Rawley’s “story” wasn’t exactly true.

Spencer is also new to Thunder Point as their new football coach. He’s a decent hero, I didn’t fall in love with him, but I did like and understand where his thoughts were coming from. He has his own issues and child to deal with, but he does pull some typical bone headed male moves.

My favorite character of this whole series, not just this book, is Rawley. I liked him before, but this story really helped me love him. There was so much revealed about him and it was both heartwarming and breaking.

There’s a second (or third?) story line that’s about the compound and it’s women that Devon escapes from. The leader is the reason she needs the protection the town gives her. The way the book ended I’m pretty sure we will hear more about some of these characters.

 The Hero (Thunder Point) on Amazon

Series Reading Order
1. The Wanderer
2. The Newcomer
3. The Hero

ARC Review: A Weaver Beginning

A Weaver BeginningA Weaver Beginning by Allison Leigh
Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition
Pages: 224
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: September 17, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb:

Small town deputy Sloan McCray was making amends for his past. They called him a hero but only he had to live with the difficult choices he’d made. And he certainly wasn’t prepared to fall in love again, not even with his beautiful—and innocent—new neighbor, whose very presence was a balm to his troubled soul.

There was no doubt in Abby Marcum’s mind that Sloan was the guy for her. Though she’d moved to Weaver, Wyoming, to make a better life for her little brother, she saw her future with Sloan. Now she had to convince the man who felt unworthy of love that she and her heart were his for the asking….

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading this sweet love story. It’s a refreshing break from all the angst ridden books I’ve been reading lately. I got into this one right away and it kept my attention until I finished it. It flowed nicely and is well written. I noticed only a few minor editing issues, nothing to take away from the story.

Abby is a strong young woman with a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. She handles it well and knows what she wants. I liked the fact that no matter how much she loved and wanted Sloan she never acted desperate or begged. That’s not to say she didn’t hurt at times, but Abby had enough self-respect to accept the things that happen. Abby does have some self-doubt when it comes to her little brother, in that she worries that she is doing the right things for him.

Sloan is a man with a past and issues with that past. He has to come to terms with some of the things that happened over the last few years. Sloan wanted and loved Abby, even if he wouldn’t admit that love to himself. He would be tender and caring to Abby and then push her away, just as it was starting to get annoying the story moved forward. I’m not sure I liked the way he dealt with his past, it came across a bit selfish, but it felt important to the story. Like it was the only way he knew how or could deal with it.

Overall I loved Abby and really liked Sloan. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good love story with a strong heroine.

 A Weaver Beginning on Amazon

Review: One Night With A Billionaire

One Night with a Billionaire

One Night With A Billionaire (Perfect Man #1) by Vikki Lewis Thompson
Pages: 124
Publisher: Penguin Group
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: May 21, 2013
My Rating: 3 ★★★☆☆

Blurb:

Melanie, Astrid, and Valerie may be best friends, but they have very different ideas of what kind of man is more fun—one with a pocket full of cash or a guy with spurs on his boots? Growing up on a ranch, Melanie Shaw always assumed she’d end up with a strong, protective cowboy someday. Before she settles down, though, she decides to take a romantic adventure in Paris, a city she longs to explore. But on the first day of her getaway, Melanie winds up in trouble and is rescued by an unlikely stranger—the handsomest Texan she’s ever seen. He may not be a cowboy, but what girl can resist a billionaire who wants to take her on a whirlwind tour of the City of Lights? And when the romance between them heats up, Melanie realizes that she may have found her perfect man where she least expected..

My Thoughts:

This was a quick, sweet, and romantic read. There wasn’t any drama or anything trying to keep the two apart, just a true love story. You have to believe in love at first sight to truly enjoy this one. Melanie and Drew only have four days together, but it is four days in Paris with no budget.  The sexual tension in the beginning is palpable and then when they do give into its hot and intense. Neither Drew nor Melanie have past issues to deal with, they have just found love where they didn’t expect to.

Overall this an enjoyably sweet read. I did enjoy Drew and Melanie’s story, but I had a difficult time getting into it at first. I would’ve liked to connect to the characters more. I am interested in reading Astrid’s story.

I recommend this to anyone looking for true love without all the usual drama. This was a very refreshing break from all the angst that I seem to read these days.

 One Night With a Billionaire on Amazon

ARC Review: Lick (Stage Dive #1)

Lick (Stage Dive #1)

Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott
Pages: 214
Publisher: Momentum
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: July 1, 2013
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆

Blurb:

Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll’s favorite son is sure to be a wild ride.

My Thoughts:

Lick kept me up most of the night. I just couldn’t put it down. The heat index on this one is well, REALLY HOT. I’m not sure what I expected from the blurb, but it wasn’t what I got. This was a really good read about two people who stumble into each other and find just what they needed.

I was pleased that the part of the story in Vegas was handled quickly and then got to the relationship between Evelyn and David. It is a case of quick love/soul mates, but I like those. They had some things to deal with. Eve doesn’t treat David any different than she would anyone else, and of course that’s one of the things he liked and needed. Evelyn did have some doubts about why he would pick her, she feels        too big (her mother wasn’t much help on this issue), not “his” type of people, and out of her depth.  David had been hurt in the past and it made some of his reactions hurtful to Eve.  David lied to Eve about something (don’t want to spoil it) and that causes a break between them for a bit. I like the way the reconciliation was handled. It brought more than them back together.  David and Evelyn have some serious chemistry and one intense, hot, loving sex life. I loved the intimate scenes they were very well written and I wanted to be Eve at times.

The secondary characters were fantastic! I loved Mel. He took to Eve from the beginning and watched out for her better than anyone there in the beginning. He was also laugh out loud funny. I felt as if I got to know them pretty well and can’t wait for some of their stories. I will admit I’m not so found of Evelyn’s parents, came close to actually hating them in the end. They can be redeemed with a little effort on their part.

I want to say more, but that would give too much away. If you like sweet romance, rock stars, innocent yet strong heroines and lots of heat then you’ll really enjoy this one. I will definitely be looking for more of this series.

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Lick (Stage Dive 1) on Amazon

Review: Alpine Attraction

Alpine Attraction

Alpine Attraction by Ann Gimpel
Pages: 102
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Review Source: Author
Release Date: May 20, 2013
My Rating: 4.5 stars  

Blurb:

Tina made a pact with the devil seven years ago. It’s time to pay the piper—or die.

Independent to the nth degree, Tina meets everything in her life head-on—except love. When an almost-forgotten pact with the devil returns to haunt her, Tina knows she has to go back to the Andes to face her doom. Caught between misgivings and need, she signs on as team doctor for one of Craig’s expeditions. Though he was once the love of her life, she pushed him away years before to keep him safe. Even if he doesn’t love her anymore, there’s still no one she’d rather have by her side in the mountains. Trapped in a battle of life and death, passion flares, burning hot enough to brand their souls.

My Thoughts:

This is the first Ann Gimpel book I’ve read and I will be reading more. It’s obvious that Ann knows what she’s writing about and it feels as if she loves climbing as much as her characters. I love to be surprised by a well written story with great editing, but this one was even better because it’s different than anything I’ve read for a while. I won’t tell you what the difference is because that would spoil it way too much. This is about two people finding their way back to each other and the love they never lost.

Tina and Craig were much more than climbing partners, they were true partners in everything. Tina pushed Craig away to protect him from a mistake she made while climbing that snowballed into so much more. After Tina turned him down Craig closed his heart to everyone else and it didn’t crack open again until Tina went on what she thought would be her last climb, last anything, with him as the doctor on the trip. Craig was there for Tina when she finally told him what was going on and was prepared to do anything to ensure a future for her and hopefully them together.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a unique, quick read or a second chance at love story. This has mystery, action, love and a hot scene in a cold tent. There’s a lot packed into this quick read. I got to know Tina and Craig remarkably well in such a short time and the secondary characters are also very well developed.

Review: Take A Chance On Love

Take a chance on love

Take A Chance On Love by Christi Williams
Pages: 214
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Review Source: Author
Release Date: April 15, 2013
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆

Blurb:

When Chancie de Leur meets highway patrol trooper Micah Taylor one frosty Wyoming night, instant sexual heat kindles between them. Chancie’s a lonely young widow who owns her own business and Micah is divorced, so there shouldn’t be anything holding them back. But Micah wonders if Chancie’s obvious wealth might become an issue, or the fact that she’s apparently the second woman in his life who has zero interest in ever having his baby.

Micah has no idea of the real problem between him and Chancie, until he meets her son. Ten-year-old Jamie de Leur is determined to break up his mom and her lawman, and Micah questions whether any relationship with Chancie is worth dealing with the spoiled kid she’s raising.

In a showdown over Jamie breaking the law, Micah has to decide if he wants to be Chancie’s cop—or her family man.

My Thoughts:

This is a sweet love story that tackles the issues of being a single parent finding love, abuse, and trying to create a new family. These were handled very well and the book was very well written, it’s refreshing to read something that has actually been edited.

Chancie has so many things to deal with, her deceased husband was emotional abusive and she married at such a young age. When she meets Micah she’s scared to open up, but when she does there’s no going back for her. Chancie is a very strong woman with a soft center. She needs the love Micah has to give her, but they have to fight her son the whole way. I do mean fight, but I won’t go into detail and spoil it for you.

Micah is a tough cop that was hurt in the past and will never admit he’s a bit afraid to try again. He loves Chancie, but won’t jump in all the way due to this fear and her son. I love the way he lets Chancie take the lead and set the pace at first. He’s an alpha male that is oh so very tender and a wonderful lover. I wouldn’t pass up the chance to have a Micah of my own.

Overall this is a true love story about two people finding each other and dealing with their individual issues and what it takes to make it work. They have a bit more of a struggle due to a child being in the picture, and boy did I really dislike Jamie in the beginning. As with the other characters, Jamie grows throughout the story and I began to see and understand his true issues. By the end of the book I was very proud of his growth and maturity.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet read with little angst. I really liked the fact that no one was being chased or in danger of being killed. I got to just relax and take the journey with the rest of the characters.

 Take A Chance On Love on Amazon

Follow Christi Williams

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