Monday 29 June 2015

His Millionaire Maid by Coleen Kwan (2015)

''His new hire has a secret...

As far as Nina Beaumont is concerned, money ruins everything. Leave it to her wealthy family to screw up her professional life and her personal life. When she crashes and her car sinks, sending her identification and all her belongings spiraling into the watery abyss, Nina sees her chance to escape.

And stumbles into a job with the hottest man she's ever his maid.

Between running an inn, caring for his grandmother, and trying to keep the dirty-dealing Beaumont Corporation from stealing his land, Joe Farina's plate is full. He doesn't have time for romantic entanglements-especially not with the suspiciously bad maid he just hired, no matter how much he needs her...both in and out of his bed.

Screwing with her life is one thing, but Nina's not about to let her family screw with Joe. That is, if she doesn't lose him when he finds out who she really is.''

A very entertaining and enjoyable, quick read.
The flirting between Nina and Joe had me laughing out loud. They make a cute couple. 
I liked Nina's character. She is independent and down to earth who isn't afraid to start over and get stuck into hard work. I liked Joe's entrepreneurial spirit and his loyalty to his family. 
There aren't really any surprises or twists in the story but I enjoyed their journey and would highly recommend it. A perfect little book to relax with.

Midnight Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice (2015)

Midnight Secrets (Men of Midnight, #3)

''Former navy SEAL Joe Harris nearly died—twice—on a medevac helo after being blown up by an IED. He's not moving too great these days, but if there was ever a woman designed to jump-start a man's hormones, it would be his new neighbor.

Meeting Isabel—loving Isabel—brought Joe back to life.

Isabel Delvaux came from one of America's foremost political dynasties, until the greatest terrorist attack since 9/11 killed her entire family. She barely survived the Washington Massacre, only to become prey for rabid reporters. Fleeing to Portland and changing her name was a way out, a way to start over. The only way.
She knows she's safe with Joe Harris. Not just because he's big and strong, not just because he's part of a security team that obliterates threats on the regular, but because he's been to the abyss and back.
But as they help each other heal—through talk, through touch, through spectacular sex—the past comes back to play. 

When Isabel's memory starts to return and a mysterious stranger sends Joe emails indicating Isabel is in imminent danger, he'll do anything to help her uncover the truth. Even if that truth is the most terrifying thing of all…''

A fantastic addition to the series. I couldn't put it down and I read it in a short space of time.

I loved the slow, sweet development of Joe and Isabel's friendship. They kept their distance from each other but Joe quietly looked out for her and she thanked him by cooking up spectacular dishes for him and leaving them on his doorstep. Their friendship didn't go beyond that and yet there were quite a few nicely romantic scenes in this stage of their relationship that I liked best about the book and it really drew me in to the story. I felt a sympathy and a connection to the pair. 
When things started to heat up at the same time as danger threatens the pace takes off. Reinforcements are brought in and the plot thickens.
The story is rich in plot and detail. There are plenty of twists, intrigue and action sequences to keep you glued to page right to end.
I'd recommend the entire series and can't wait for the next installment!

The Highlander's Choice by Callie Hutton (2015)

The Highlander's Choice (Marriage Mart Mayhem, #5)

''The Scottish Highlands, 1815.

Lady Sybil Lacey is every inch an English woman. She's horrified her best friend is wedding a barbarian Scot. For aren't Scots naught but brutish, whiskey-swilling lechers? So to find herself secretly attracted to the tall and devastatingly handsome Scottish laird of Bedlay Castle is quite disconcerting...
Liam MacBride is convinced that English ladies are silly sassenachs who think of nothing but social events and clothes. So why is he intensely drawn to Lady Sybil? All they do is quarrel...until loathing turns into undeniable lust.
A tempestuous, fiery romance between an English lady and a Scottish laird cannot end well.''

Sybil and Liam face an uphill battle if their love for each other is going to survive and progress to a happy marriage. Both have to overcome their own prejudices about the other's heritage. They also have to contend with Liam's mother who has no liking for the English.
                    The teasing and witty banter between Sybil and Liam was cute and funny. They disliked each other on sight but they also found themselves attracted to each other and their way of dealing with that was to spar with words. But instead of creating a distance between them, the more they teased each other the more they liked and respected the other.
                    I liked that the romance between the two wasn't dragged out before Liam proposed to Sybil. Even though they'd only known each other a short time I liked that the story moved on to a second phase. Sybil gets to spend time at his estate and meet his family before coming to a decision about their future. A lot happens at the castle because her presence isn't met with enthusiasm. Liam also leaves her there with his nasty mother while he goes off to attend estate business. This part of the novel reminds me of the gothic romances of Victoria Holt. Sybil is not treated very well and she has to think on her feet and deal with it quietly. Liam is not much help to her.
                   I enjoyed all the drama at the end of the story. Liam has some pleading to do to convince Sybil to marry him. Her family are involved at this stage and her brother's response to Liam was both appropriate and a bit of entertainment before the inevitable happily ever after.

The Highlander's Choice is part of a series but can be equally enjoyed as a stand alone novel.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Warrior's Heart (Iron Portal #3) by Laurie London 2015

Warrior's Heart (Iron Portal #3)
Imprisoned for years, he never forgot her.
Zara Kane is leading a double life. By day, she’s a respected antiquities expert, working at a library, but by night, she’s a thief, stealing back artifacts that belong to her homeland. When she learns that a man she once loved—who abandoned her when she needed him the most—has been wrongly imprisoned, she uses her para-ability Talent to orchestrate a daring escape.

Vince Crawford is damaged man. After years of torture and suffering, the beautiful boy with the sparkling brown eyes is gone, replaced by a jaded ex-con hellbent on revenge. He isn’t afraid of anything, but when the woman he’s never stopped loving and the son he never knew he had are threatened by a ruthless enemy who knows they’re his greatest weakness, Vince will stop at nothing to keep them safe…even if it costs him his life.

Although this is the third 'Iron Portal' book, it was my first dip into the series. I got the gist of it fairly quickly and the characters were all explained in good detail so it was very easy to get into the book and enjoy it. The words on the page flowed so well that before I knew it I was half way through. There is plenty of action and steamy romance to keep you entertained for hours.
Vince and Zara made a good couple and it was satisfying to see their little family reunited after they were so cruelly ripped apart in their youth.
I enjoyed this book immensely. I'm looking forward to reading subsequent titles but in the meantime I'll read the earlier books in the series to find out more about the supporting characters featured in Warrior's Heart.

Get your copy today.

Gambling on the Outlaw by Margaret Madigan (Entangled Select Historical) 2015

Gambling on the Outlaw (Nevada Bounty #1)

Nevada is no easy place for a woman, especially for Beth Caldwell, a gambler's widow with an independent streak. When she refuses to marry the local cattle baron-who wants to add her land to his empire-Beth ends up with a powerful enemy. But it's not until she finds a handsome outlaw hiding in her barn that her trouble really begins.

Isaac Collins survived the Civil War only to find himself the scapegoat for stagecoach robbery and murder. With nothing left to lose, he gambles everything on revenge...and barely escapes with his life. He stumbles back to Beth's place, and as she nurses him back to health something tender and heated grows between them.

But in Nevada, sometimes everything can ride on one high-stakes game of chance...and Beth's rejected suitor will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.

I looked forward to reading this book every spare moment I had!
There is so much going on in this novel beyond the romantic entanglement of Beth and Isaac. There are many other great characters in the book, all with varying scandalous lives and their individual stories will make subsequent titles in the series a must read.

Beth's neighbour and unwanted suitor, Clay Dearborn, made such a good nasty character. He made lots of threats but I would have liked to have seen more action from him. However, I couldn't wait to see him get his comeuppance.
After a complex and exciting high stakes poker game the story resolved quite quickly and conveniently but maybe just a little too nicely for everyone in the end.

All in all, a good read for fans of western historical romance.

Hunter of Her Heart by Kaylie Newell (Entangled Covet) (Wolfe Creek) 2015

Hunter of Her Heart

A paranormal category romance from Entangled's Covet imprint...

To love a bad boy is to love the beast inside him...

Bad boy Zane Wolfe has always been wild and reckless. Even though he's hot for his high school sweetheart, Candi Brooks, settling down has never been in his plans. Beyond that, he's changing in strange ways-and begins to wonder if there's truth to the local folklore that claims his family is cursed to be werewolves...

There's never been a time when waitress Candi didn't have a serious weakness for Zane and his intense, dark sex appeal. She craves him. But after her life changes dramatically, and Zane won't commit, Candi's reached her limit. She can't wait she's taking her heart off the table before it gets good and broken.

Something mysterious is going on in Wolfe Creek, and danger stalks Candi. Zane will do anything he can to protect her. But the one person she needs protection from might just be him...

I hadn't read the previous book in the series and so I didn't have any heightened expectations in relation to book two. The story was developed enough and the characters' situations explained in a way that I didn't feel as though I was missing anything pertinent to Candi and Zane. I enjoyed the story, especially the suspense element towards the end.
However, I wasn't completely enamoured with Zane as he comes across as immature and selfish. His and Candi's relationship woes seem to go around in circles right up to the very end where he finally gets his priorities right. There could have been more meaningful dialogue between the pair to make me more sympathetic to them.
I quite liked the secondary characters. Their story from book one is alluded to in this novel and it has made me interested enough to go back and read it.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Fallen: (A Cassidy & Spenser Thriller #2) by Carey Baldwin (2015)

Fallen (Cassidy & Spenser #2)

''A body just fell from the sky onto Hollywood Boulevard.

When a beautiful prostitute is dumped onto the Walk of Fame, FBI profiler Atticus Spenser and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy are called in to solve one of their most baffling cases yet. The media's dubbed him the Fallen Angel Killer—a crazed murderer who's leaving the bodies of high-priced call girls in Los Angeles tourist traps.The killer has raised the stakes, demanding that a mysterious celebrity publically admit to his sinful secrets—or he'll dispose of his latest kidnapped escort. With every "john" the team exposes in their search for Celebrity X, another Hollywood secret is revealed and another charmed life is left in ruins. With time running out, Spenser and Cassidy will do anything to find the twisted serial killer…before another innocent woman winds up the next grotesque tourist attraction.''

Another thrilling read from Carey Baldwin. My fingers were itching to get my hands on 'Fallen' after having been introduced to Caitlin and Spenser in 'Judgment.'  I had high hopes as I was so impressed with the first in the series. 'Fallen' went beyond my expectations and the Cassidy & Spenser series is now a firm favourite.

The author teases the reader with the slow romance between the protagonists. With every lingering look and touch, the reader can't help but fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other. Their developing relationship is left to simmer however, as more pressing matters take centre stage when the pair are called in to profile a serial killer in Hollywood. 
              The 'nail biting' mystery and suspense had me completely engrossed and the twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end. I really had no clue until Cassidy figured it out. The killer in question is a completely new kind of character for me. The psychology and twisted reasoning behind it was intelligent and thought provoking. I can't wait to read what Ms Baldwin comes up with next.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Locked, Loaded and Lying by Sarah Andre (Entangled Select Suspense, 2015)

Locked, Loaded, & Lying

He might be innocent.

Or he might be very, very guilty...

Olympic skier Lock Roane was on top of the world: smashing world records, collecting medals, and basking in the love of a nation and his beautiful heiress girlfriend. It all comes crashing down after Lock discovers his girlfriend had an affair - then wakes from a drunken bender to find himself covered in her blood. Disgraced and dethroned, Lock awaits his murder trial with dread, not knowing if his girlfriend died at his own hands.

Journalist Jordan Sinclair is out of options. To satisfy her blackmailer, she must get the inside scoop (and its cash reward) on Lock Roane. An attraction to the arrogant athlete was not part of the plan. Neither is trying to find out what really happened that night. Now Jordan risks everything - including her life - to help the man she's falling for. A man who just might be a cold-blooded killer...

I was completely drawn into this story very quickly. I couldn't put it down and spent every opportunity I could get dipping into it- before work, at the breakfast table etc. 
The great chemistry and banter between the characters was quite amusing.
The mystery of who committed the murder kept me guessing right up to the very end. I liked that there were so many plausible suspects to choose from! Even Lock himself wasn't above suspicion.
 I enjoyed the process of elimination as Jordan and Lock investigated the different theories and suspects. Equally enjoyable was their burgeoning romance and the interactions between them as they spent more time together.
A great read, Highly recommended.

Monday 15 June 2015

Enticed by Blood (A sweetblood World Vampire Romance) by Laurie London

Enticed By Blood (A Sweetblood World Short Story)

'Stockbroker Juliette Bishop gets more than she bargained for when she flies to New Orleans to handle a business matter for her ailing father and comes face to face with her former lover, the handsome, yet mysterious Andre Lescarbeau.

* This Sweetblood World short story (dark vampire romance) was originally published in the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance.
As a short story, I thought this was remarkably well developed and left me wanting to read more of the series. Eventhough I haven't read the others in the series it was easy to follow and I didn't feel like I was missing any information or back story. Juliette and Andre had a well developed history and so their relationship was able to move on a little bit quicker than would be normal in a longer novel and the author got it just right. There is also a good deal of action and suspense packed into this novella. I was disappointed when I got to the end very quickly because I was really enjoying it. 
I'll definitely be reading more of this series.

Revenge Best Served Hot (Men of the Zodiac #6) by Jackie Braun

Revenge Best Served Hot

'Brody Flynn waited years to get his revenge on Douglass Shipping for his parents’ accidental deaths. Now the company is fumbling, profits are down, and it’s the perfect time for a hostile takeover. Vengeance. But the former CEO’s daughter Kate Douglass has other plans…

Kate’s been waiting for her chance to take on a real role at Douglass and prove to her family that she’s not the fragile piece of glass they all think she is. There’s no way she’ll give up without a fight. All she has to do is convince the gorgeous new CEO to hire her…and not fall for him.
But Brody was never supposed to feel attracted to the daughter of his enemy. He was never supposed to want her as hard as he does. And the only thing stronger than his hunger for revenge is his hunger for her..'
A very enjoyable romantic read. I loved the development of the relationship between Brody and Kate. It develops slowly and naturally as Brody has to get used to the idea of falling in love with the enemy's daughter. Kate complained that their relationship was moving at a glacial pace but I'm glad it did. He didn't trust her completely for much of the story and I would not have respected him as a romantic hero if he'd started an affair with Kate, his employee, too early.
There were no big surprises or twists in this tale so it is pretty easy to predict what was coming next. 
I thought the story could have done with a little bit more tension or suspense. Collin, who was such an unlikeable character, could have been used more to fill this gap.
But, overall, a good, quick read and I would happily read more from the author.

Sunday 7 June 2015

Romancing the Earl (Regency Treasure Hunters Book 2) by Darcy Burke

She'll stop at nothing to find her heart's desire... 

Romancing the Earl (Regency Treasure Hunters, #2)
Major Elijah Hollister never wanted to be an earl, particularly not when it meant losing his brother. When a bold adventuress shows up at his door seeking a treasure map, Elijah suspects his brother’s death may not have been accidental and that the lady knows more than she’s willing to share. Whether she’s a friend or foe, Elijah plans to keep her close—and hope the temptation of her kisses doesn’t ruin them both. 
Miss Catriona Bowen can almost taste the fruits of her years-long quest to find one of Britain’s greatest treasures. The discovery will deliver the recognition and respect she deserves as an antiquary, despite the fact that she’s a woman. However, to find the map that will lead her to success, she must ally herself with a stoic, yet provocative gentleman with a different goal. And when a villain threatens their lives, she realizes too late that love is the greatest treasure of all. 

A quick, enjoyable story. I enjoy historical romance that has some mystery or adventure and this novel didn't disappoint. This is the second in the series but it can easily be read as a stand alone.
There is great chemistry between Elijah and Catriona and their burgeoning romance was amusing to read. The treasure hunt got very exciting the closer the pair got to discovering it as they were being closely watched by a secret society who would stop at nothing, including murder, to get their hands on the treasure.
I'd recommend 'Romancing the Earl' to anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery or adventure in their historical romance.

Friends in High Places: A Liberty Lane Mystery #7 by Caro Peacock. (Severn House Publishing 2015)

Friends in High Places: A Victorian London Mystery
Featuring private investigator Liberty Lane.
September, 1840. Novelist and patron of the arts Lady Blessington has hired Liberty Lane to escort a French gentleman to The Hague. For he has in his possession important papers that will assist in the forthcoming trial of Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, the late emperor s nephew who has failed in an attempt to seize power in France. Plans for the undercover expedition are disrupted however when a body is found hanging in the attic at Gore House, Lady Blessington s Kensington mansion. Uncovering evidence that the murder was meticulously prepared for and planned well in advance, Liberty determines to track down the killer. But she is about to find herself plunged into a highly dangerous game involving blackmail, treachery, espionage and cold-blooded murder.
This is the seventh in the series. I didn't realise this when I started it or I would have begun at #1  as I hate reading a series out of order. However, not having read the earlier books didn't diminish my enjoyment at all. I felt that I got to know the characters quite well and pretty quickly. The mystery itself was intriguing and the murder that occurs took me by surprise. As did the way in which the murder was executed; very devious and chilling.  This novel has everything I would expect of the genre; mystery, murder, political intrigue and spies as well as a romantic interest, although the romantic interest took a back burner in this installment.
                  I enjoyed the character of Liberty Lane and the group of people she surrounds herself with. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical crime novels. This is one of my favourite genres so I would really like to read this series from the beginning.  'A Foreign Affair' is #1 and appears to have also been published under the title 'Death at Dawn.'

A Friendly Engagement by Christine Warner (Entangled Select Contemporary) (Friends First)

A Friendly Engagement

Another 'faux fiancée' story, this time a contemporary story set in the financial world. Omar needs a fiancée in order to secure a wealthy new client for the family's financial investment business. Devi, his personal assistant and best friend, is the obvious and best choice to play the role. However, they didn't factor in their growing attraction to each other and things really start heating up between them. As the line between make-believe and reality become blurred Devi and Omar decide to see where their new relationship takes them. Things look good. The client really likes them and is on the brink of investing with them. However, it certainly isn't all plain sailing. A former employee stirs up trouble and when Devi finally discovers who her birth father is, it may mean the end of Devi and Omar's new romance as well their working relationship.

I liked the characters in this story. Devi is out spoken and full of life which balances out Omar's more conservative personality. Things heat up more quickly between the pair because Devi isn't afraid to voice what she is feeling and what she wants.
I would have liked to read more about Omar's family and his brothers in particular but maybe they'll feature in future books if this turns out to be a series.

An enjoyable, quick read.

Available from the 23rd of June 2015

Tuesday 2 June 2015

The Major's Faux Fiancée by Erica Ridley

The Major's Faux Fiancee (The Dukes of War, #4)

       Another sweet and light Regency romance from Erica Ridley. There is something particularly sweet about two childhood friends falling in love. Major Blackwell drops everything and dashes off to come to the aid of his old friend, Daphne, the girl next door. The pair even have cute childhood nicknames for each other. Of course I was fully expecting them to fall in love and for the 'faux fiancée' element to become 'real fiancée' by the end. I just had to sit back and enjoy. 

I liked the characters Daphne and Bartholomew. I sympathised with Major Blackpool's issues and admired Daphne for her independent spirit but she was too rigid in her thinking for my liking. However, both characters find a way to overcome these issues by the end.

I particularly enjoyed the appearance of characters from earlier in the series; Amelia and Lord Revenwood. I'm still in anticipation of a HEA for Lord Ravenwood. Katherine was a very likeable character. Maybe her doddering old aunt will play match maker.

I hadn't read the blurbs for any of the books yet to come in the series so the sneak peak at the next book had me exclaiming OMG!!

Can't wait!

Monday 1 June 2015

Love on the Lake series by Amy Gamet

'Treasure on Moon Lake (Love on the Lake, #1)

#1 Treasure on Moon Lake 

True love is hiding where you least expect to find it... 
Jewellery designer Tori Henderson’s first year in business was far more expensive than she could have imagined. Faced with closing the doors of Tori’s Treasures, she sinks her last dollar into one final promotion—a widely publicized treasure hunt for a chest of fine, handmade jewellery that could drum up enough business to get her back in the black... or kill her shop once and for all. 
The last thing she needs is her mother's announcement that she's preparing to marry Edward Trainor, the father of Tori’s long ago summer crush, Gabe - a man who regularly makes his way into Tori's dreams some ten years later. 
Corporate tycoon Jed Trainor has no intention of attending his estranged father’s wedding, and he certainly doesn’t need to see his half-brother Gabe after the other man put the moves on Jed's one-time fiancée. But with business problems looming, Jed needs time to think, and the small town of Moon Lake seems like the perfect place to hide away while he figures out how to save his empire. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful woman who thinks she’s in love with his idiot half-brother. 
Tori is determined to win Gabe’s heart, but Jed has other plans. When they learn Gabe is bringing a date to the wedding, Jed offers to bring Tori himself, knowing any woman on his arm is sure to be on Gabe’s radar. But his ploy for her attention just may blow up in his face. Can Jed prove to Tori he’s the Trainor brother she really belongs with?' 

Treasure on Moon Lake is a quick romantic read. The love triangle element and the jealousies that ensued were well written and entertaining to read. The story flowed well and I got absorbed in it pretty quickly. I just wasn't too sure how donating $10,000 worth of jewellery for a treasure hunt was going to save a failing business but I glossed over that little detail. The story is a real feel good romance with a happy ending and I immediately started the second in the series after finishing it.

Treasure on Moon Lake is recommended to any fans of contemporary romance and it currently FREE to download on Amazon Kindle.

#2    Fortune on Moon Lake

Fortune on Moon Lake (Love on the Lake, #2)

'A woman who can't let go of her past...

Melanie Addario's been in emotional limbo since her boyfriend disappeared two years ago. Now a secret admirer is coaxing her well-protected heart out of hiding, making her question if she should wait for a man who may never come back, or if it's finally time to open herself to new possibilities.
Just as she's beginning to make progress, a self-proclaimed fortune-teller throws Melanie for a loop when the other woman suggests her admirer is none other than her long-lost boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Greg Mora. Will the man she once loved really come back into her life, or is the fortune-teller way off base?

A man who must fight for his future...

Rafael Delacruz never meant to become a secret admirer. When he left the first gift on Melanie's doorstep, he had every intention of finally asking out the blonde bombshell who'd attracted his attention years before. But the very next day, she was asking him for a job, and there was no way he was going to send her away. Now he's Melanie's boss, an arrangement that has him firmly pressed between his desires and responsibility.

When the owner of Crescent Moon puts the vineyard on the market for a small fortune, Moon Lake outsider Rafael is forced to find the backing of an investor to buy the business he's come to love. But someone is trying to sabotage operations at the vineyard, putting his plans for Crescent Moon and his hopes for a relationship with Melanie in jeopardy. 

As Rafael works to solve the mystery of the vineyard saboteur, loyalties will be tested as shadows from the past rise up to be counted, forcing both Melanie and Rafael to choose between that which is given freely and that which can only be hoped for. Will they be able to separate friends from enemies before it's too late, or will they lose the vineyard--and each other--forever?'

The second book in the series didn't disappoint. The story is character driven and you get a real sense of who the characters are and how they've reached where they are in their lives. We also get a little update on Bonnie and Edward from book 1. I also enjoyed Melanie's character in book one and was looking forward to her getting a Happily Ever After. The only thing missing in this book was the subtle humour that was more evident in Treasure on Moon Lake.
An quick and entertaining read. 
I will look forward to reading #3 'Return to Moon Lake' when it publishes later this month.

Eat, Play, Lust by Tawna Fenske (Entangled Lovestruck)

Eat Play Lust

'Cami Pressman is a yoga instructor with a lifelong secret love of junk food. Not even an irresistible man can replace the mouthwatering wickedness of her favourite foods.

Until, that is, Paul Hammond signs up for her class. He’s a gourmet chef looking to score some fitness tips, and a date with Cami. Suddenly Cami’s lust for junk food isn’t the only thing making her tingle.

When this sinful chef and hot yoga teacher eat, play, and lust together, they just might bring their obsession to a new level.'

This novella had me laughing out loud. The sparks were flying right from the beginning and the witty banter had me thoroughly entertained.
As this is a novella, it is a short read but the story does feel complete. It only takes an hour or so to read but is perfect to curl up with on a rainy day!

'Eat, Play, Lust' is currently FREE on Amazon Kindle