Quick Listing

  • Jeanne Allen, WHEN LIGHTNING FLASHED
  • Cornelia Amiri, DRUID QUEST
  • Anastasia Amor, Havana Heat
  • Eve Asbury, Falling For You
  • Lena Austin, THE GOD’S WIFE
  • Katherine Bower, CRUISING BACKWARDS
  • Elaine Charton, EASY LOVIN’
  • Lorna Collins, Sherry Derr-Wille, Luanna Rugh, & Christie Shary, SNOWFLAKE SECRETS
  • Bruce Cooke, THE PURSUIT OF MARY MCBRIDE
  • Christine DeSmet (Dame Moonstone), MISCHIEF IN MOONSTONE: An Anthology
  • Mary Eason, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE
  • Debbie Fritter, JOUST IN TIME
  • Barbara Goodwin, HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
  • Crystal Inman, THE ELEMENTAL GUARDIAN SERIES MEGABOOK
  • Crystal Inman, THE ELEMENTAL GUARDIAN SERIES: EARTH GODDESS
  • Crystal Inman, THE ELEMENTAL GUARDIAN SERIES: FIRE GODDESS
  • Crystal Inman, Water Goddess
  • Crystal Inman, WIND GODDESS
  • Crystal Inman, ONE ENCHANTED EVENING
  • Isabelle Kane, Whiskey Shots: Volume 13
  • Melody Knight, IN FLAMES
  • Melody Knight, IN TRYSTS
  • Donna McGillivray, Soul Savers
  • Weta Nichols, Belinda’s Love
  • Marie Patrick, ANGEL IN THE MOONLIGHT
  • Sue Perkins, WHISKEY SHOTS VOLUME 16: MISTY MEMORY & WYRD FORTUNE
  • Sylvia Rochester, COME BACK, MY LOVE
  • Lauren N. Sharman, Dusty Rose The McCassey Brothers' Trilogy Book 3
  • Lauren N Sharman, The McCassey Brothers Book 4: THE LONG ROAD HOME
  • Jane Shoup, Jayna Incarnate
  • Catherine Stang, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE
  • Josie Thomas, THE WORLD IN HER ARMS
  • Anita Whiting, THE KILLER AMONG THEM
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WHEN LIGHTNING FLASHED

By Jeanne Allen

Romance across times and across universes.

“When Lightning Flashed” held promise for me, yes the lost/found/who’s who love wasn’t a strong point for me.  I couldn’t get into the romance.

However, the Prologue captured me.  The idea of a dying knight being lead by a ghost, perhaps to the other side hooked me immediately.  I was shocked when the first chapter brought me to our modern day and a near rape; however, having the hero arrive through a flash of lightning was dramatic.

After this I drifted away from the story.  Deanne, the near rape victim, accepted this strange hero and his killing too quickly.  The story felt rushed and unclear.

Once again, I need to ask – is it just me not mixing with the story?

DRUID QUEST

By Cornelia Amiri

No, I did not mix with “Druid Quest” because of the romance.  And for the record I love Druid stories and that whole time period.  I just didn’t ‘get’ “Druid Quest.”

Sulwen is a Sacred Druidess, the lone survivor of her village.  Arch Druid Rhys is her lover.  Sulwen is rushing to reach Queen Boudica of the Iceni’s side.  For most of the book, we are told of Sulwen’s flight to Boudica.

For me, this travelling to village to village on towards Boudica lasted too long.  By definition a quest is the pursuit to find or obtain something, yes that could loosely work here.  I expected more.

The romance aspect of “Druid Quest”?  Yes, too much for my liking.   If you are more romance and lean towards this Celtic time period, you may enjoy “Druid Quest.”  Not for me.

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Havana Heat

by Anastasia Amor

Author's Website

GREED…REVENGE…SEDUCTION…

Anise is plagued by past life visions in her Cuban journey. A sexy spirit man disrupts her photography project urging her to return to a past life in revolutionary Bolivia. Anise’s heart is torn between Dr Reese Lyon and the spirit man. Angels guide Anise but mysterious manipulations force Reese into a fantasy world of “no return”. The magic of a jealous Santeria priestess threatens to destroy them all. Anise has to make a choice. Will she risk death to be with her lover forever?

Review:

Anastasia has offered me a very different read, even by my romance understanding. I'm still working through my thoughts on this heat-filled romance. Nothing to make it erotica but enough to make me blush if my mom was reading this as well.

If I can examine romances, there's always a story for each player and then their story together. In HAVANA HEAT add possibly three more stories...the priestess who wants Reese; Reese's own other world travel; and Anise's travels. Okay, maybe the priestess fits into the story of Reese and Anise.

I have to admit, I did find the traveling a little confusing. At the same time, I preferred the two traveling stories more than the "reality" story of Reese and Anise. At that point, Anastasia wrote two very different genres. A reality of freedom fighting and love mixed with death and a colourful fantasy world with undersea animals and fairy creatures. It's not easy to develop three separate genres into one book with the same characters.

Given my familiarity with Anastasia work, HAVANA HEAT is her voice...and her love of chocolate. Her fans will enjoy the travels presented within.

New fans will need cooling off from the heat.

Falling For You

Eve Asbury

Ever feel like your life is one big Soap Opera?  Well, join the Aldrich, Van Diver, and Jessup family as they sort out their lives.

 If you enjoy contemporary romance stories with smart characters who are doing the best that they can while finding love within uphill battles, then Eve Asbury is your author.

 I’m on the fence with whether I mixed well with “Falling For You” or not.  In this addition to Ms. Asbury’s series, Dana Van Diver and Jake Jessup Jr. are the ones who nearly miss out on love.  Dana seems to fall for the right man at the wrong time…in his life.  Jake is the town’s perfect widow and perfect big brother…how does anyone live up to those perceptions.

 If I understand this family tree correctly, James Aldrich was a real creep and lowlife.  He married a Van Diver daughter and framed Jake Jessup Sr, who later died in prison.  Now the respective children of these family trees are trying to pick up the shattered pieces of their history and find some form of normalcy.

 Ms. Asbury, I give you credit; you have intertwined a batch of characters and romances and plain everyday life into a satisfying read.  “Falling For You” fills every requirement for a romance read and can still engage the non-romance reader in me. 

 If I’m almost ready to read Ms. Asbury’s other romances, then what do you think a true romance fan will do?

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THE GOD’S WIFE
By Lena Austin

WARNING:  Some sexually erotic scenes, well within context of story, sensual.

Ancient Egypt.  It was a time for myths, gods, and those who stood for the land and her people.

To be fair, I don’t normally mix with romance and am not the biggest fan of sex scenes.  I skimmed over the sex, fell in love with the characters, and could not stop reading Ms. Austin’s story.

In THE GOD’S WIFE Ms. Austin introduces us to a secret society of Egyptian noblewomen.  These women stand for Egypt.  Whatever it takes, they will see Egypt rule and stand strong for eternity.

Hatshepsut has been trained to be the Pharaoh’s consort.  To perhaps bear his child.  Love and friendship are unexpected surprises.

Senmut, Hatshepsut’s childhood friend, is one of many scribes.  While he is a highly regarded scribe, he is still an unsuitable husband for a God’s Wife.

Ms. Austin takes her readers through the journey of political powers, murder, secrets, honour and nobility, to found love and joy, with breathless beauty and wonder.

THE GOD’S WIFE will transport you back in time.  You will swear you can touch their walls and feel the sand beneath your feet. You will feel the heat, in more ways than one.

I wanted to reach the end of THE GOD’S WIFE, but I do not want this to be the end.

Please, Ms. Austin, you will revisit Hatshepsut and Senmut?

If you love historic Egypt mixed with trickery, mysticism, and romance, you will love THE GOD’S WIFE.

CRUISING BACKWARDS
By Katherine Bower

Wake up call for Ms Brianna James, your future is here, in the past.

Ms. Bower takes her character Brianna James on a surreal journey through the Bermuda Triangle landing Brianna in the year 1717.  Luckily, Brianna landed on the ship of one gorgeous Captain Daniel who, like Brianna, is quite accepting of the whole strangeness of events.  Falling in love, they risk everything battling Cap’n Lefty Shakes’ revenge filled plans.

There really isn’t any reason not to click with “Cruising Backwards.”  Ms. Bower’s strong points are in her humour and light-hearted approach to a simple love story.  Brianna and Daniel do not play silly games with each other, which is something I like when reading romances.  Secondary characters, one is based on a real pirate, are quirky in their individuality.  I like them and would like more stories surrounding them.

I’m positive those of you who enjoy breezy romantic adventures will click with “Cruising Backwards.”

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EASY LOVIN’

By Elaine Charton

They say opposites attract, but it ain’t easy.

“Easy Lovin” is a sweet old fashion romance that even I couldn’t argue with.  It fulfills all the needs this genre dictates.  There’s the cute socialite, Abigail Fairfax, who wants out from under her mother’s demands.  Then there is Texas’ Ezechial Zachariah McAllister, EZ to his friends.  He is a U.S. customs officer who is in a heap more trouble with Abigail than any art smuggler he’s ever been after.  Even if that smuggler is Abigail.

If you know me, you know I need a really big story in order to mix with a romance.  “Easy Lovin” isn’t a really big story, it is about as straightforward as a male/female butting heads can get.  However, it is a well thought out and planned story that will leave its reader content.  I’m writing this a couple of weeks after reading and I still remember each character and the full storyline…this is a story that will stay with you.

I enjoyed “Easy Lovin” because it delivered an easy quiet read when I needed one.

SNOWFLAKE SECRETS
By Lorna Collins, Sherry Derr-Wille, Luanna Rugh, & Christie Shary

Four sisters gifted with four unique glittered snowflakes.  When will their Great-Aunt Maude’s gifts truly be revealed?

Get out the Kleenex you’ll need it.  Not only are the stories within “Snowflake Secrets” uplifting; they’re tearjerkers that had this non-romantic wrapped around their authors’ little fingers.

Lorna Collins opens with the Prologue introducing us to the sisters as children.  Everything is perfect, picture perfect.  Ms. Collins then brings us Allegra’s story.  Life was supposed to be perfect, but as Allegra learned “Be careful what you pray for.”

Ms. Collins wraps up the sisters’ stories with the Epilogue.  Life isn’t wrapped with bows, but sometimes we know when new beginnings are born.

Sherry Derr-Wille brings us Carole’s life.  The lonely life of a widow who feels she can never satisfy her mother.  Will she have a new beginning?

Melody’s tale shines with Luanna Rugh’s telling.  The sister with the stable life; the sister everyone confides in; the sister with a hidden secret best revealed.

Christie Shary’s Sonata is the hardest to read, but the most hopeful.  Here is the sister who never felt lost, the odd gal out.  The traveler.  What is her secret and how was it she always knew what Aunt Maude was giving with those snowflakes so long ago?

“Snowflake Secrets” is about family seen through others’ eyes.  What we picture as a whole and what we see alone.  It is individuals tied together during times of not knowing, not wanting, rediscoverying.

Maybe I’ve read more into these tales, maybe I’ve just connected because of my own family, maybe there’s just always something more for each of us when we’re emotionally touched by someone’s words.

Thank you, Ladies for the pleasure of your words.

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THE PURSUIT OF MARY MCBRIDE
By Bruce Cooke

Content: Sexual aspects in context with story.

When was the last time you could not put a book down?  I mean, the last time you really could NOT stop reading?

Yes, this is me talking about a romance story.  Yes, I lost a day reading “The Pursuit of Mary McBride.”

Growing up in the London slums, on the streets, alone, in the 1800s, Rebecca Smith had extremely limited options.  One option was to be a prostitute; lucky for her Claire, the owner and operator of London’s The Gentleman’s Club, took her in.  Here Rebecca was at least safe.  She learned to read and write and even how to carry on a ‘proper’ conversation; she learned to be used, but what else is new.

Caught up in the ‘morals’ of a society who shunned the used in favour of the users, Rebecca was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in Australia and, in addition, could not return to London for another fourteen years.  Why?  Because a Gentleman’s Club client was kicked out for abusing a working girl and lied that he was robbed.

Survival.  What would you do to survive?  You have no rights.  You have no power.  No one will speak for you.  No one cares.

Rebecca Smith survived.  Marrying the abusive bully, Michael McBride, offered her an early prison release and a slightly better chance her unborn child would survive.

After Michael rapes and sells her sixteen-year-old daughter into marriage, to another lout of a man, Rebecca vows to find and save her child, Mary.

No, “The Pursuit of Mary McBride” is not a gentle read.  It is an honest read.  Mr. Cooke takes his reader from the dirt of London’s alleys and prisons to the holds of overcrowded ships to the new world of Australia and from there he opens up the settlement of his country’s history where everyone can try for a new beginning.

I’ll say no more about what happens to Rebecca, Michael, and Mary.

Gentle read?  Honest read?  What do these mean?  Are they just old words reused?

At times I was not comfortable reading “The Pursuit of Mary McBride.”  I can read, between the lines, what the guards, the ship’s crew, wanted from the women in exchange for a less stale piece of bread.  My imagination can paint its own picture of fun and games at another’s expense…we hear about such things too often in the news and with our entertainment CSI, Law and Order, what have you, shows.

Mr. Cooke takes away the sugarcoating, takes away the shock-value descriptions.

He writes with plain blunt language which leaves no doubt about what is happening and that is the power of his writing.  That is the honesty of his writing.

Society deemed Rebecca a whore.  Rebecca chose to survive.  Rebecca sees with her experience.  She has no rose-tinted glasses.  She is a strong character that accepts the truth before her.

Is there a happy ending for Rebecca, and her daughter, Mary?  I’ll just say I’m extremely happy.

Mr. Cooke, thank you and I look forward to reading you, again.

MISCHIEF IN MOONSTONE: An Anthology

By Christine DeSmet (Dame Moonstone)

Reading the review request for these mischief stories had me hooked, now to see if the collection stands up to first impressions.

YES!

Ms DeSmet, Dame Moonstone, I want more!

The stories contained are:

1)                  When Rudolph Was Kidnapped

2)                  Misbehavin’ In Moonstone

3)                  Mrs. Claus and The Moonstone Murder

4)                  When The Dead People Brought A Dish-To-Pass

5)                  A Moonstone Wedding

All stories are set in fictional Moonstone, Wisconsin and each surround the escapades of individuals finding love.  Dame Moonstone’s characters are totally new and exciting and funny.

I can picture Moonstone.  I can smell and hear it.  It is a real place for me.  There is a cozy fun atmosphere to Moonstone.  It is a very down to earth place with very complex people.

Yes, I have found a new favourite.

Story (1) is how, school teacher, Crystal Hagan finds love with Peter LeBarron, who lives in the mansion known as “North Pole.”  Together they have to track down her pet reindeer’s kidnapper.  A straightforward romantic mystery.

Story (2) finds chef Kirsten Peplinski finding her love on a topless touring boat, the same boat that is taking all the Moonstone women’s men away.  The women pick Kirsten to bring their men back, after all she doesn’t have a man to worry about and the boat is taking Kirsten’s customers.  Jonathon VanBrocklin, the boat’s owner, has a deal for Kirsten – marry him and his boat is gone, don’t marry him and the boat stays.  The rest is just priceless.

Story (3) is about new county deputy Lily Schuster and archaeologist Marcus Linden.  She irons her sheets and hates dirt.  He can’t remember when his sheets were washed and works in dirt.  She came to Moonstone to find the meth dealers who turned her brother into a junkie.  However, she now has to discover who murdered a pie contest judge.  Was it one of the two women vying for an 84 year-old man’s heart?  Or was it the 84 year-old man?

Story (4) is contains a touch of the paranormal.  Alyssa Swain is still grieving the death of her young daughter.  John Christopherson is walking between life and death, and it is his spirit that helps Alyssa forgive herself.  Can Alyssa convince John to choose life? This is both heart wrenching and heart moving.  I was uncomfortable reading it, only because it touches on a mother’s worse nightmare – her child’s death.  And in the end I was teary-eyed and fortunate I had the chance to read it.

Story (5) is a little off-kilter.  It is definitely the most mixed up love story.  If only Margie Mueller had talked with Tony Farina than maybe she wouldn’t have found a dead body in the fertility rug.

I dare you to read any of these tales and not smile.

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SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE

By Mary Eason

Your father – what price would you pay?

Lili needs to sell her father’s gallery.  The money will pay for the treatment that might save his life.

Damon wants the gallery and all her father’s art.  He wants revenge.

I did not mix with “Somewhere Between Love and Hate.”  This was a romance where, in my opinion, both centre characters failed to grab my attention.  I wanted Damon to get his revenge…not something a reader should want in a romance.

“Somewhere Between Love and hate” is for those who are diehard romance book lovers.  It is for those who will cheer for these two characters, not me.

JOUST IN TIME

By Debbie Fritter

Okay, you got me.  I’ve melted into this romance.  It has to be the Knight thing, right?  Me?  Falling for a romance story?  I know, I know, but hey…it was a enchanting read.

The Black Knight, Sir Reynold Loddington, was in love with Lady Catherine Astley; however, Queen Isabel wanted him.  And so, made him an impossible wager: win, and his childhood friend would lose everything and Reynold would be at the Queen’s mercy; lose, and be banished forever.

This is where the story takes a sharp left.  Once knocked from his horse, The Black Knight awakens to a new time with faces too similair to those he knew.  Yes, there is black magic and time travel used within “Joust In Time.”  The black magic element adds dimension that feeds the mystic lover in me.

Now, there’s another sharp left…he’s not the only one here in 21st Century Bristol, USA from his mythical 15th Century Heartsease.  Someone is waiting for him and is determined to fulfil a centuries old plan.

Will Reynold find his true love, Catherine, within the incarnation of Courtney?  Will Courtney believe in true love, fated love?

I liked reading about a person from another time landing here rather than watching it…must be in the writing of the scenes.  The disbelief of those from the current time is more realistic, after all who believes in magic nowadays.

It’s also an interesting change to hear the male character more strongly and his understanding of the situation than a female character trying to explain everything to everyone.  Reynold’s voice is very clear.  I like this character.

However, at one point I did want to say a line from the movie “Wizard of OZ.”  It fits and at first writing this felt like a negative to the story, but in retrospect this is very similar to the childhood story…in adult form.  You will have to weigh it for yourself.

Find a corner and surrender to the Black Knight…you will not regret it.

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HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
By Barbara Goodwin

Who says love has an age?

“Hiding in Plain Sight” has a very strong leading lady, Judy Winston.  A flight attendant who risked all to save her passengers, a woman who refused to run and hide.

Judy is levelheaded, feisty, a loving protective mother, determined, basically my type of heroine.  So why did I not connect with this story?

Two reasons (1) a couple of small unbelievable details threw me out of the story and (2) me and the romance of “Hiding in Plain Sight” just didn’t mix.

Ms. Goodwin’s idea of a flight attendant who botches a drug smuggling operation and ends up working with the DEA peaked my interest.  I didn’t pay enough attention to the main genre…romance.

Do I think “Hiding in Plain Sight” will satisfy a romance reader?  Quite possibly, just a couple of details didn’t make sense.

Ms. Goodwin, your Judy is a tough loveable cookie.

 

THE ELEMENTAL GUARDIAN SERIES MEGABOOK

By Crystal Inman

Never doubt a book that brings tears to your eyes or fills you emotionally.

What can I say Crystal Inman has me hooked.  Her Elemental Guardian Sisters are fantastic characters.  I do not want the stories to end at four books.

Yes, the human women may need a quick kick in their rumps…my problem with most romance stories…however; they are not stupid weak characters waiting to be saved.  The human characters are strong, independent, and intelligent, qualities that always make for a better read.

The Goddesses are written pure and open, never belittling know-it-alls or overpowering.  They are the best example of any woman’s mentor.  They speak without causing pain and guide with a gentle touch; it doesn’t hurt to have a touch of magic either.

Ms. Inman’s writing is a subtle message to anyone – be true to yourself, follow your heart, and embrace life.

Thank you, Ms. Inman, please don’t leave us with only four Elemental Guardian stories.

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THE ELEMENTAL GUARDIAN SERIES: EARTH GODDESS

By Crystal Inman

By far the best in The Elemental Guardian series.

Elemental Guardian Goddess Eden is the oldest of the four sisters and the last to earn her bracelet.  The bracelets symbolize each sister’s success and advancement in their powers.  All must succeed or all fail.

Eden has broken the rules.  She saved a human child’s life.  Now this child is the woman Eden chooses to help find love.  Even if, Mary, finds her inner strength and love will this be enough for Eden to obtain her bracelet?  Or has Eden forever doomed herself and her sisters?

“Earth Goddess” is the quietest of the Elemental Guardian series.  It is also the strongest, at least for me.  Maybe it’s because the character, Mary, is turning 40.  Maybe it’s because it is the first time we see a Goddess struggle and break the rules.

More than the first three books, Ms. Inman has created characters, Mary and Eden, who connect the deepest with me.  Their doubts, fears, and acceptance ring so very true.  These are women I want around me.

Thank you, Ms. Inman.

THE ELEMENTAL GUARDIAN SERIES: FIRE GODDESS

By Crystal Inman

Now it is Guardian Goddess Wilda’s turn, will she and her pick match or will there be fireworks?

As you may remember, these are the tales of four sisters – The Elemental Guardians – who must seek out and help one woman, each, to discover herself and, hopefully, love.

Wilda is fierce tempered with very little patience; will she find the strength to deal with a flawed human?  Her choice - soap opera actress, Kelly Marshall.

Kelly portrays the queen bitch, Felicia Hawthorne.  It isn’t her fault that others believe Kelly is as cold, as sexual, and just as cutting as her character.  Kelly’s a farm girl who loves to act.  The industry has forced Kelly to close herself from others who would take and trample what Kelly would love to freely give.

Will Wilda be able to free Kelly’s heart? Or is it more important that Wilda opens the eyes of would-be suitor, Sloan Davenport?

“Fire Goddess” is funny and Kelly Marshall is a female after my own heart – high heels are a pain.

Another Elemental Guardian book that does not disappoint.

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Water Goddess

Written by Crystal Inman

Wouldn’t we all, women that is, love to release the Goddess within us?  Or, at least have a Goddess Guardian’s help us now and then.

Wilda, Kendra, Tempest, and Eden are sisters and Guardians.  They must each find a mortal woman to mentor and then guide her towards success.  As they, the sisters, all succeed they will prove themselves worthy and grow in their own powers.

Sounds easy enough, for a Goddess, right?  Well, you forget, us mortals have a thing called free will and it’s gotten in the sisters’ way a few times over the last hundred years or so.

“Water Goddess” is Kendra’s story and she’s picked schoolteacher, Erin Sanders.  Erin, who has closed her heart to the world, a world that left her lost, abused, and ashamed.  Will Kendra be able to guide Erin to a new loving life?  Sorry, you’ll have to read “Water Goddess” for yourself.

Okay, we know romance and me are a delicate mix; however, I found myself entrenched in wanting the character Erin to find happiness.  I wanted the characters to succeed.  I wanted the happy ending.  Heck, I want the other Guardian Sisters’ stories.

Maybe it’s because I know there is a paranormal/mystical element at work, but Ms. Inman tells her tale with a surreal feeling to it.  I wasn’t part of the story…I wasn’t reading the story through Erin’s eyes, but neither was I watching it unfold through Kendra’s eyes.  It was almost like I was the judge weighing Kendra’s success or failure.  Not an easy task – telling two women’s separate stories through a shared experience.  Ms. Inman succeeds.

“Water Goddess” is a romance with a twist.  It’s a story that will awake the romantic in us all…even me.

WIND GODDESS

By Crystal Inman

The sisters are at it again; this time it is Tempest’s turn.

Ms. Inman spins another fantastic story of a woman finding her strength and balance…with a little help from a Goddess.

This time around Wedding Planner Extraordinaire, Sylvia Masters will discover falling in love doesn’t mean losing one’s self.  And, Tristan Calhoun, well he’s roguish, powerful, and full of the devil – a perfect match.

Yes, these are romance stories.  Yes, they are all about women finding their true love.  Yes, the men and women butt heads, my least favourite part of romance.

BUT, they are just too much fun.  If you already know this series you’ve already bought the books.  If you’re new, well you’re in for a great read.

What’s next Ms. Inman?

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ONE ENCHANTED EVENING
By Crystal Inman

Do you believe in fairy tales?  You better because there really are gremlins in the photocopier and the leprechaun is your mediator.

The strangest, funniest, bravest romance story I have read.

Ivy has received an invitation to a ball.  An “One Enchanted Evening” because Ivy loves “Fairy Tales, Magic, and the Unexplainable.”  Just use a little of the dust in the envelope and you will have whatever you want to wear.

When Ivy decides someone’s maybe sniffed a bit too much ‘fairy dust’ the invitation changes words and answers her.

Okay, yup, a bit far out there, but a totally fun read.

Ivy and her sickly sister, Rose, end up helping a couple of Prince Charmings discover who is poisoning their father (yes, the king) and save their fairy land.  A cast of every fairy tale and childhood story you’ve read are here.

Will Ivy and Rose find love with their Prince Charmings?  You really think I’m going to tell you, come on, it’s a modern day fairy tale, and what do you think?

Ms. Inman has quite the imagination and knows how to weave a magical story.  I’ve never shook my head at such a tale while smiling so much.

Wonderful.

Whiskey Shots: Volume 13

Isabelle Kane

”Whiskey Shots Volume 13” by Isabelle Kane includes two romantic shorts: “The Thought of You” and “Ransom For a Viking.”

“The Thought of You” is set during WWII where two people meet, love, leave, and hopefully find each other again.  It is a romance that could (and probably is) truly be someone’s memory.  A very sweet tale set during our world’s darkest times.

“Ransom For a Viking” is a different history.  Set in 740 AD, Ms. Kane takes us back to a time of conquerors and raids.  The killing of villages and taking of slaves.  A time where anything or anyone different was suspect and feared, where a woman could find her own way if she knew how to heal.  “Ransom For a Viking” is the tale of Astrid, Egil, and Egil’s evil half brother Halfdan.  Halfdan may be Egil’s chieftain, but he will never rule his younger half brother.  Will Astrid and Egil live long enough to love or will Halfdan see them dead?

Ms. Kane meets the mark on both stories.  She has painted a clear picture of each world and each character.  However, I find myself with a mixed reaction.

I became lost and wrapped up in the loneliness of “The Thought of You.”  It struck me deep inside and is still with me.  This is a story of immense emotion and a must read for anyone.

“Ransom For a Viking” works very well for a Historical Romance short story.  I’m sure those who read this genre will enjoy it.  I just didn’t mix well with it.

Overall, “Whiskey Shots Volume 13” is worth the read.

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IN FLAMES

By Melody Knight

Amendment:    I am adding these lines from my review of “In Trysts” to give a better understanding of the series.  The rating is based on not knowing “In Trysts.”  If I had both stories would receive 2 out of 4 trumpeting elephants.

From review “In Trysts”

However, since I read book two “In Flames” before book one “In Trysts” I can say that as a series the two books do compliment each other.  “In Flames” is now making more sense to me.

It is my opinion, and my grade school English teacher would be upset with that opening, these two books should be read hand-in-hand in order to gain the full appreciation of Jake’s and Peri’s relationship; Peri’s and Sophie’s friendship; Jake’s and Marco’s partnership; and Sophie’s and Marco’s relationship.

Ms. Knight has the beginning of a hot-blooded romantic crime solving team.  I believe romance lovers will want more.

Warning: Fairly Sexually Graphic Scenes

I think I missed something in my reading.  Peri is married to Jake.  Jake is a spy whose partner is Marco.  Marco is Sophie’s lover.  Peri and Sophie are friends.  There is some mystery to Peri’s background…she was a crook?  Sophie was a beaten down abused girl who ended up a lost relative to the rich Beaumont family.

Now, the man from Sophie’s past…who was killed either by Sophie or not…appears to be haunting her.  If not him, someone is tormenting Sophie.  Someone who can create fire from nothing?

Okay, the sex is graphic.  Yes, I didn’t mix with it.  Any reader who likes hot scenes with their romance, step right up for “In Flames.”

By the time the secret is revealed, I started to get intrigued; however, not quite soon enough.  I needed more back story, more information.  As I mentioned, I feel like I missed something in my reading or is there a book one?

And, no I’m not telling you anything further cause that will ruin the entire mystery.

Sorry, put this solely on me…not a good fit.

IN TRYSTS

By Melody Knight

Content:  Sexual scenes details

Robin Hood for the forgotten.

Peri, aka Cameillia Perigord Mackintosh, uses her skills to right inheritance wrongs, the one who missed out due to the schemes and greed of others.  Her last case, Sophie Donovan, brought Peri to the ISA’s attention.  When monetary power changes everyone is interested.

Peri’s latest case brings her face-to-face, intimately face-to-face, with ISA agent, Jake Hasting.  He’s assigned to find the person responsible for the corporate upheavals these newly found inheritances are causing.  Discovering his family is her latest case both amuses and concerns him.  How much does Jake stand to lose if Peri proves her client’s case?  Which is worse, the devil you know or the devil you don’t?

It doesn’t help that Jake’s partner, Marco, has become a bit too intimate with Peri’s friend, Sophie.

For the most part “In Trysts” is a sexually explosive romance and it works for this genre.  Did it work for me?  No, still too much romance and not enough intrigue for my tastes.

However, since I read book two “In Flames” before book one “In Trysts” I can say that as a series the two books do compliment each other.  “In Flames” is now making more sense to me.

It is my opinion, and my grade school English teacher would be upset with that opening, these two books should be read hand-in-hand in order to gain the full appreciation of Jake’s and Peri’s relationship; Peri’s and Sophie’s friendship; Jake’s and Marco’s partnership; and Sophie’s and Marco’s relationship.

Ms. Knight has the beginning of a hot-blooded romantic crime solving team.  I believe romance lovers will want more.

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Soul Savers
By Donna McGillivray

Consequences: what mark will you leave upon this earth?

Raechel Martin and Alexander Forrest are the heirs to Jonathan Sheffield’s fortune.  To receive the full amount they must succeed in releasing Mr. Sheffield’s and his long deceased son’s souls to the afterlife.

Problem 1…Raechal and Alex do not know each other.

Problem 2…Raechel and Alex do not know any Jonathan Sheffield.

Problem 3…release souls to the afterlife???

Problem 4…the secrets.

Possible Problem…Raechel and Alex’s attraction to each other.

Allow me to keep using point forms; it makes it so much easier than trying to write out why you’ll enjoy this ghostly romance.

Reasons to read “Soul Savers”

-    The mystery.  Who leaves millions to total strangers?  There must be some connection.

-    Haunted mansion.  Lost souls.  Speaking spirits.  Tantrum throwing college boy-ghost.

-    Intelligent characters.  Okay, maybe you think believing in lost souls is farfetched, but you haven’t seen them or talked to them and a few million bucks is still a few million bucks

-    Fun characters.  I like Raechel and Alex, along with housekeeper Liz and butler George.  They’re caught up in a strange situation and going with the flow…without hysterics and stupidity.  Let’s face it when you’re reading a paranormal story the last thing you really want are characters that don’t believe in what they are seeing.

-    Okay, the romance isn’t too boring…mind those sexual scenes, maybe a tad much for me.

-    The conclusion works beautifully.
“Soul Savers” is a great weekend read.

 

Belinda’s Love

Weta Nichols

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I share the news Ms. Weta Nichols passed away this year, before this review was done.  Thank you Ms. Nichols for sharing a bit of yourself with us.
Sometimes you have to give a romance its due.

Okay, this is a romance and we know I don’t normally mix well with this genre.  Is it my favourite?  Did it ‘wow’ me?  Am I now hooked?  Not exactly, but I have to give “Belinda’s Love” the 4 roses for fulfilling its role in the romance genre, and for addressing the truth: we all deserve love.

Rich Wells is a cowboy left for dead, in the desert, by his shady boss.  Belinda Asher, half Southern Paiute-half Spanish, finds him and helps him back to life.  Together they face a town corrupted by bullies and snobby prejudice.  Will Rich be able to tame the lawlessness?  Will Belinda and Rich be allowed a future, together?

Yes, “Belinda’s Love” is a girl meet boy, girl and boy blind to each other’s feelings, girl and boy face near insurmountable odds.  But, it works.  Weta Nichols has written a nice and sweet story that will fill your romantic reading need.

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ANGEL IN THE MOONLIGHT
By Marie Patrick

Avenger, Protector, Survivor, who can judge another’s heart.

Someone has killed Callista Ruiz Maxwell’s family.  Will Callie let U.S. Marshal Austin Kincaide do his job or will vengeance be hers?  Their attraction may be their undoing.

Ms. Patrick uses a cattle ranch, back in the days of horses and stagecoaches, as her backdrop and uses it well.  There is a feeling of open spaces, caring hands, hard work, and honesty that I come to expect from any western setting.

Her strong-willed capable Callie, while intelligent on running the family ranch, now her ranch, is still a semi-swooning heroine to Austin’s tall, protective, haunted hero.  For me, this makes them middle ground agreeable characters…for romance lovers, you’ll love these two and their HOT connection.

Right, I didn’t mix, but I didn’t not mix with “Angel In The Moonlight.”

The historical western had me wrapped up.  The masked Angel of Justice riding at night had me interested.  Even the conclusion worked for me.  I liked the characters when they were more western and less romance, but that’s just me.

If you like or love Historical, Western, Romances, you will enjoy Ms. Patrick’s “Angel In the Moonlight.”

 

WHISKEY SHOTS VOLUME 16: MISTY MEMORY & WYRD FORTUNE

By Sue Perkins

Quick romance smiles.

That about sums up these two stories.  They are quick reads like viewing snapshots of a given moment.  I quite enjoyed them.

“Misty Memory” finds Gayle waking up in her boss’ bed.  She doesn’t remember how she got there and now her co-workers believe she has a drinking problem.  As for her boss, he’s enjoying himself a little too much.  Is there more to the story…definitely.

“Wyrd Fortune” is part horoscope, part tarot cards and a whole lot of change.  If you follow your horoscope, how do you know it is really in the stars or just someone leading you?

These two stories are for that quick read need.  They will leave you contented.

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COME BACK, MY LOVE

By Sylvia Rochester

If your one true love was in another time, would you travel backwards for love?

This is the question asked of Olivia Montgomery.  Her day started with just a simple re-enactment of a Civil War battle and ended with her in the arms of Confederate surgeon Prentice Angelle.

How was Olivia to live in a time so different from her own?  How would she keep her knowledge, her life a secret from the man she had fallen in love with…could she?  But, most importantly, if she could get back to her own time, would she?

As you have probably gathered by now, this historical romance contains just a little fantasy time travel.  However, it works within this story.  It works because it was not made into a big deal, it wasn’t explained away or dwelt on and that allowed me to forget about it and enjoy the story.

Yes, I did enjoy this romance…a little.  For me, “Come Back, My Love” was an uncomplicated weekend read.  I had set myself up for a different ending, but Ms. Rochester’s ending makes more sense.  Ms. Rochester writes crisply without losing any texture to her setting or characters.  The story flow is unobtrusive and engaging.  There are times when each character shines and you cheer for them to succeed and, for some, times you want to strangle them.  “Come Back, My Love” worked for me because it wasn’t overdone.

I believe those who are major fans of historical romance will fall in love with “Come Back, My Love.”

Dusty Rose The McCassey Brothers' Trilogy Book 3

Lauren N. Sharman

The McCassey Brothers plus the Zamora Sisters always equals trouble.

 “Dusty Rose” is as raw, edgy, and tough a romance you will ever read.  There’s no handsome rich hero sweeping the frail damsel out of harms reach.  In “Dusty Rose” the guy would be lucky not to be shot by the girl…actually, he nearly is, shot that is, the verdict on lucky is still out.

 “Dusty Rose” is one of the best romance suspense eBook I’ve read.  Dusty Zamora, our heroine, is hard as nails, fast with a gun, has carried and protected herself while riding with an outlaw biker gang and she’s grown into one beautiful lady. 

 It’s Judd McCassey who first spots the female form riding the Harley Davidson Fat Boy, just one of the surprises this Zamora sister has in store for him.

 Neither the McCassey brothers or Zamora sisters had it easy growing up, but the night the sisters killed their stepfather for raping and killing their youngest it was those brothers they ran to for help.  Now, ten long years later, she’s back home, Hagerstown, Maryland, hoping the McCasseys’ know where her last remaining sister is.  Jessie’s on the run from the brother of the man she killed, too bad the man had killed Jessie and Dusty’s sister first.

 No, “Dusty Rose” isn’t your garden-variety type romance/suspense story.  There’s grit in this story.  There’s meanness and ugliness in it, too.  There is also heart, loyalty and family.

 Ms. Sharman writes with an unconditional honesty, she pulls no punches and for that I thank her.  I need to read the first two McCassey Brothers stories.  “Dusty Rose” is a story you won’t soon forget.

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The McCassey Brothers Book 4: THE LONG ROAD HOME

 

by Lauren N Sharman

About the book:

Nineteen-year-old Georgia survived four years of forced prostitution and drug addiction by clinging to the false hope that her brothers—unaware of her existence—would one day rescue her.

The last thing Blackie, Judd, and Rebel McCassey expect to discover when they catch a young girl loitering in front of their garage, is that she’s their younger, half-sister.

Immediately, they want to help Georgia overcome her addiction and bring her into the family fold, despite her adamancy that she isn’t good enough to be a McCassey.

Used to handling things their own way, the brothers soon realize that this time, they can’t fix things by throwing powerful right hooks, firing semi-automatic weapons, or simply saying, ‘no worries’.

This time, they need an outsider’s help.

But Georgia’s skeptical, and doubt consumes her as her strength and confidence falter.

Georgia knows her brothers will fight for her…but will she fight for herself?

Review:

WOW

My review is long overdue, but I try my best to fulfill my promise. With "Long Road Home" this was both a difficult read and frankly one I would not have missed for the world.

If you know the McCassey Brothers you know they're not squeaky-clean perfectly formed cookie-cutter heroes. They're a little rough around the edges. A tad across legal limits. Language and fists tend to fly around. They've been banged up a bit.

But do not question their loyalty. Do not doubt they protect their own.

Nothing's prepared them for Georgia. Nothing's prepared them for learning they have a little sister who survived a hell at the hands of the man who fathered them all.

A Hell even they might not have survived.

No. "Long Road Home" is not an easy read. It's downright terrifying. It's gut-wrenching. Tear-jerking. Heartbreaking.

One of the best stories I've read in some time.

Ms. Sharman's writing carries you forward through the darkness to the hope everyone needs. She pulls no punches. There's no sugarcoating hard life truths.

Ms. Sharman shows you the heart which is within any and all of us.

Yeah, I'm raving. "Long Road Home" took me away from everything...even any little items I may have caught if my critic/reviewer-hat had been remembered.

What I remember is a story of family and their fight for each other and for themselves. I'm still feeling the emotions rolling inside. Yeah, this is a story I'll stand beside and defend.

Jayna Incarnate

Jane Shoup

Do you believe we carry our past souls with us throughout time?  Do you believe we can relive those past lives?

This is a small part of the “Jayna Incarnate” story.  Samantha died in 1745, well a past version of herself died in 1745.  Now, in 1998, Samantha will die, but her soul will travel back to a long lost love…the love that never had a chance to live.

I like this story because it involves Scotland and her history, the characters are intelligent, there is a mystical element I enjoy, there are pirates, and I was in need of emotional escapism at the time I was reading.

Ms. Shoup fully succeeded in writing a honourable romance with a balanced view on Scotland’s history (a history that was talked about quite frequently during my younger years).  Her words sent me back to Scotland…I could see, smell, and hear everything she wrote.  She captured her characters’ honesty and loyalty.

I believed in Ms. Shoup’s world and her people, something I don’t always do with a romance tale.

“Jayna Incarnate” will make a first-class summer read.

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IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

By Catherine Stang

Would you risk everything for justice?

District Attorney Julia Davenport’s determination to convict the criminal Morgan nearly cost her, her daughter.  Now six months later, she may still lose her child, and more.

“In the Blink of an Eye” we are introduced to Julia Davenport and her daughter Ashley and Julia’s father, Senator Reece Barrington.  And through him, the men determined to protect Julia and Ashley.  And one who is just as determined to see Morgan dead.

“In the Blink of an Eye” is a quick, fast-paced read.  The story is a good read, another weekend/rainy day read.  Surprisingly, it is the story’s secondary characters I want more from.  They contain the most humour and liveliness, making them an easier connection.  The main characters, Julia and her bodyguard, need more space to develop their story.  However, they have a fine start here.

“In the Blink of an Eye” is the first book I have read this month that contains some psychic connections.  However, this connection was a bit confusing.  It was sprung on the reader and how the connection was made was never clear.  In my opinion, it did not fit or add anything to the story and was the one flaw in the book.

However, if you can look beyond this flaw, “In the Blink of an Eye” is still a good read.

THE WORLD IN HER ARMS
By Josie Thomas

Memory is a precious thing.

Sam Wade’s wife went missing, as in kidnapped, taken, abducted without any clues.  When Sam receives a call that a hospital across the country may have his wife he rushes to the stranger’s side never thinking that he will be the stranger.  You see, Sam’s wife, Angelina, cannot remember anything of her life.

She doesn’t remember Sam, their two children, her writing career, nothing.  Who took her or what happened in the months since her disappearance are blank.

“The World In Her Arms” is more a reconnection of two people and the family around them.

I wanted more of the mystery of Angelina’s abduction.  More about the—why—it happened.  I felt like I was missing a back-story or previous story that was being continued.

I am not comfortable giving anything more away, about the mystery characters, because I’m afraid by just mentioning a few things will end up giving too much away.

For those who want a rekindling romance, I think you’ll enjoy “The World In Her Arms.”  Me?  Well, you know I don’t always mix with romance.

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THE KILLER AMONG THEM

By Anita Whiting

Neighbours as matchmakers; neighbours as killers?

Once again a murderer is stalking Kat’s hometown.  Her Aunt Evelyn wants her to return and solve these killings.  These murders are too similar to Kat’s own parents’ murder. Or does Aunt Evelyn think Kat and the new Chief of Police will be a perfect match?

This is my second reading of Ms. Whiting’s writing, “A Killer’s Agenda” being my first.  What I have found is that Ms. Whiting still tells a solvable mystery.  I did guess the killer and found the culprit quite believable.

This time around I must note that Ms. Whiting’s writing is stronger.  Her characters are less fast-paced and more human.  There is still a very lively humour throughout the story, please never lose this, Ms. Whiting.  However, the hint of physic ability is the story’s only downfall.  In my opinion, it didn’t fit.

All in all, I could not stop reading “The Killer Among Them.”  I look forward to Ms. Whiting’s next writing.