Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Surrender - Pamela Clare

Iain MacKinnon and his two brothers, powerful Highland warriors trained in native American warfare, are falsely accused of murder and forced to take up the banner of their enemy King George in the French and Indian War. While on patrol, Iain rescues a Scots woman who calls herself Annie Burns from the French and Abenaki soldiers who raided her home. Annie, who hides a tragic past of family betrayal and indentured servitude, struggles with her newfound freedom and the mixed feelings she has for her saviors-so much like the Jacobite warriors who cut down her Loyalist father and brothers in battle. 

Surrender is the first in the MacKinnon Ranger series.  Iain MacKinnon, the leader of the MacKinnon rangers, had been forced to serve the British crown, but compassion urged him to save the lovely girl facing certain death at the hands of the Abenaki indians. He defied his orders, endangered his brothers, his men and his mission, all for a woman whom he had never met before. But when he held Annie’s sweet body in his arms, he could feel no regret. Though he sensed she was hiding something from him, it was too late to hold back his heart. Annie with her secrets and longing for a life of freedom becomes the wild card in a land and livelihood she knows nothing of. At first she survives purely on instinct and having the luck of Iain by her side. Slowly you see a woman who grows into her own and learns which battles in her life are worth waging. You would almost think with so much horror surrounding a woman she becomes detached but through her own actions she gains the loyalty with the Rangers and ultimately the man she has set her heart on. With so much going against her at the beginning I loved to read the journey of Annie and Iain.  I loved getting to know the whole cast of characters and was surprised by Annie's unlikely ally in the end.

Notable Quote:
She was solace. She was beauty. She was life. And the wanted her. (Iain's thoughts of Annie)

I am not a person who usually enjoys historical romance, but I thoroughly enjoyed Iain and Annie's story.  This isn't your typical historical, there is no frill and no lace.  Annie has grit and spunk and is loyal to the core and will fight for anyone she deems fit.  Iain is resigned to his fate, does his job and does it well until...Annie.  All that is left is to SURRENDER!!!  The historical accuracy was meticulous, flawlessly woven into the tale, never appearing as though it were flung up like scenery in the background. Creating a Battle of Ticonderoga scene sufficiently convincing and captivating that one is not tempted to skim through on the way to the good stuff is quite a feat.  I am very much looking forward to Morgan's story "Untamed".

Breaking the Rules - Suzanne Brockmann

Izzy Zanella wasn’t looking for another reason to butt heads with his Navy SEAL teammate, and nemesis, Danny Gillman. But then he met Danny’s beautiful younger sister, Eden. When she needed it most, he offered her a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on—and more. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered her marriage. But Eden’s devastating miscarriage shattered their life together—and made the intense bad blood between Izzy and Danny even worse.

Now Eden’s back, and she’s on a mission to rescue her teen brother, Ben, from their abusive stepfather. Even if she and Izzy can prove that their broken marriage is still in one piece, winning legal custody of Ben is a long shot. But they’re not alone: Danny and his girlfriend, Jenn, offer to help, and he and Izzy agree to bury the past and fight for Ben’s future.

As they plan their strategy, Izzy and Eden grapple with the raw passion that still crackles between them—while Danny and Jenn confront new depths in their own rocky relationship. But events take a terrifying turn after Ben befriends a girl fleeing a child prostitution ring. When the young runaway seeks refuge with Eden and Izzy, her pursuers kidnap Ben—and a deadly standoff begins. Now they must all pull together like never before and strike back, swift and hard, to protect their unconventional little family and everything they hold most precious.

Breaking the Rules is the 16th book in the Troubleshooters series.  There was a lot to this book and if you didn't keep up, you got lost.  First you have Izzy and Eden who are married but haven't seen each other in 10 months despite Izzy's attempts to contact her.  Izzy comes back after helping out Dan (Eden's brother) to end it with Eden.  It turns out, they need to stay married for a while longer to help Ben (Eden's other brother).  During the few weeks they are together and coming up with a plan to help Ben, their apparent raw lust for each other can't be contained and they tend to do it like rabbits when ever the mood hits.

Cut to Dan and Jenn.  Dan is in love with Jenn but she doesn't believe him, she thinks he only wants to marry her cause it is convenient to help Ben.  Through many ups and downs, a few kidnappings and near death experience, they make it down the isle, only to wake up to a phone call on their wedding night of another kidnapping.  Can these two catch a break?

Finally you have the story of Ben, the youngest brother who happens to be gay.  Yep, you didn't think you would get away from reading a Brockmann book without some gay rights stuff added in did you?  Ben finds a girl at the mall, who he finds out is basically living there.  Through trying to help her, he brings the wrath of some very bad people in on his family.

The story was good, but seemed to keep going on and on, it kind of jumped all over the place and didn't seem to really flow.  I had major issues with the characterization of Jenn.  In the last book, she was described as plain but pretty and almost cute, tall but not overly overweight.  In this book she is described as 'larger-than-large & amazon size'.  Which is it?  I had head that Mrs. Brockmann will be taking a break from writing the Troubleshooters series, and I think it is time to take a break.  Troubleshooters only came in to play for about 20 pages of this book, how can it be classified a Troubleshooters book, with no Troubleshooters?  Not only that but this book left more questions than answers, Lindsay loosing another baby, then is just okay with it??  On what planet?  I hope if this series is restored, we can get back to the actual Troubleshooters.

Any Man Of Mine - Rachel Gibson

What happens in Vegas . . . doesn't always stay there.

Autumn Haven's Las Vegas "to-do" list said to catch a show and play the slots—not wake up married to a sexy jerk like Sam LeClaire. The first moment she saw him eyeing her like a luscious piece of the dessert buffet, her usually responsible self told her to run. And she did—right into the wildest fantasy weekend of her life. But Monday morning jolted her back to reality, and before she could say "pass the coffee," Sam was gone.

Now a successful wedding planner, Autumn hasn't clapped eyes on the heartbreaking hockey superstar for over two years . . . until she organizes his teammate's "Special Day," where Sam makes a big play to pick up where he left off! But she has vowed any man of hers plays for keeps. Is Sam the man for her or does she banish him to the sin bin forever?

Any Man of Mine is the 5th book in the Chinook's Hockey Series.  Autumn has built a successful business of party planning.  When she is tapped to plan Faith and Ty's wedding, she runs in to Sam again after 2 long years of no contact.  Sam is the father of Autumn's son, but that is about as far as their bond goes.  She could really care less about him, his hockey or all the bimbos that he beds, or so she says.  

After a little epiphany, also known as a big ol' ass chewing from Autumn, Sam decides he wants to be a better father and tries his best to get to know his son, and spend more time with him, thus seeing Autumn more.  Soon, he realizes that he wants more, not just her to be his kids' mom, he wants it all.  His goal now, make it happen, but Autumn can't get past the hurt of all those years ago when he left her alone, and pregnant in Vegas.  Can she get past her hurt to see the love in front of her is real or will she keep going back to what is comfortable, being a mom, sister and business woman.

Notable Quote:
Any Man of Mine: Doesn't have other girlfriends (especially skinny girlfriends)

While I found this book enjoyable, I was left wanting....more.  There wasn't any real drama.  There was more of a yo-yo affect going on.  I liked the characters more or less, but I just felt that if there was chemistry there wasn't a lot of it.  It was great to see some of the past characters, Mini Pit and Pit Boss also plan a wedding during this book.  Getting to visit with Faith and Ty was enjoyable but Autumn and Sam....just felt rushed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Breaking Point - Pamela Clare

While investigating border violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Denver journalist Natalie Benoit is caught in a bloody ambush and taken captive. Alone in the hands of ruthless killers, she will need every ounce of courage she possesses to survive. 

Betrayed by another operative, Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride has endured a week of torture and interrogation at the hands of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel. Ready to give his life if he must, he remains unbroken—until he hears the cries of an American woman.

Although Natalie is only a voice in the darkness of their shared prison, her plight brings renewed strength to Zach's battered body. With her help, he overpowers their captors, and they flee through the desert toward the border, the attraction between them flaring hotter than the Sonoran sun.

But past loss and tragedy leave both of them reluctant to follow their hearts, even when the passion between them reaches its breaking point. Faced with feelings neither expected, they fight to stay ahead of the danger that hunts them as forces more powerful than they can imagine conspire to destroy them both…

Breaking Point is the 5th book in the I-Team series, and I seriously hope that Ms. Clare is prepared to keep the series going. When Natalie and Zach end up in the same prison, Zach has all but given up in his mind, it is Natalie who wraps her brain around the escape.

I love that Zach is an Alpha in every way but that he also has a soft side especially for all things Natalie, but he has such a dangerous job and can never see them being together past what they have already shared.

Natalie lost her parents and her fiancée all in one day and feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. She feels it is her own fault that they died and doesn't think she will ever be able to love again. Will they ever break free from their own guilt to see what is in front of them? I loved this book from beginning to end.

Notable Quote:
" are under arrest for the distribution and sale of schedule one narcotics, human trafficking, the murders of US nationals on US soil, the kidnapping and attempted murder of and American journalist....and a whole lot of other sick shit."

I totally wish I had a rating for above 5 cause this book would deserve it. Breaking Point is nonstop action, just when you think they were done....there is more. The action parts put you on the edge of your seat, the love scenes were HOT, and I couldn't wait to turn the page to see what would happen next. I laughed, had a giggle or two, I was upset a time or three and shed several tears. It was great to see our old friends from the other I-Team books, it was like catching up with old friends, and meeting new ones. I hope we catch up with Rowan in the future, she seemed like she could be a lot of fun!!