Monday, August 29, 2011

My One and Only - Kristin Higgins

Book Blurb:
Divorce attorney Harper James can't catch a break. Bad enough that she runs into her ex-hubby, Nick, at her sister's destination wedding, but now, by a cruel twist of fate, she's being forced to make a cross-country road trip with him. And her almost-fiancé back at home is not likely to be sympathetic.

Harper can't help that Nick has come blazing back into her life in all of his frustratingly appealing, gorgeous architect glory. But in Nick's eyes, Harper's always been the one. If they can only get it right this time, forever might be waiting—just around the bend.

In My Own Words:
Harper James is a well known and sought after divorce attorney because it appears she has a heart of ice and is cynical to the core about all things love.  When she gets the news that her adored baby sister is getting married to husband #3, Harper is understandably suspicious.  To add insult to injury, Willa will be getting married to her ex-husband's brother, which means, she will be seeing Nick again.  Its been 12 years, she's over it, right?

When Nick stops in the middle of the road to admire the scenery, the last person he expects to see is Harper striding towards him.  He loves her so much that he hates her.  The next few days will be the hardest of his life, having to be so close and not be able to kiss her and strangle her.  She was the reason their marriage didn't work, he couldn't let himself go there again.

When life threw her a few curve balls, Harper had no other option than to travel back home with Nick.  Thrown in a car together in a cross country trip, one would think there would be plenty of time to reconcile and make things right, right?

Notable Quote:
"Marry me Harper.  God knows you're not the girl of my dreams, but you'll have to do."

This book had a lot going for it.  Harper was a quick witted attorney that was as cynical as the day is long.  Her look on love and a lasting love was learned from her mother up and leaving on her 13th birthday.  That is bound to have some affects on a girl.  Nick is a good natured, loving and adorable architect that has worked his adult life to make something of himself.  The banter between the two is hilarious.  There are lots of outside stories also going on, Harper's dad and step-mother, plus her sister and Nick's brother, then you have a few different office personnel from each of them that get involved as well.  I think my favorite secondary character is Carol, Harper's secretary.  The parts I didn't really care for were the thought scenes.  Some of them were just way to long, I ended up skimming more than I read during those parts.  There were several typos that just started bugging me after a while and I started looking for them, which is never a good sign.  That being said, I really did enjoy the story and getting to know this rather dysfunctional family.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Heartbreaker - Julie Garwood

Book Blurb:
In the still shadows of the confessional, the penitent kneels and makes a bone-chilling disclosure: Bless me father, for I will sin....Slowly, tauntingly, the man describes his murderous past—how he stalked his victim, worked his way into her life, and then took that life in a violent rage—and his plan to kill again. Only this time, he has raised the stakes in his twisted game, daring authorities to catch him if they can. This time, he has revealed the name of his next intended victim. I'm a heartbreaker. And I do so love a challenge....

Agent Nick Buchanan has come face-to-face with society's worst monsters and depraved minds in his work for one of the FBI's most elite units. He's about to take a much needed vacation from his high-stress job when he's called on to stop the killer who has mockingly confessed to the deadly crime he's going to commit. Nick can't refuse—for this time the threat has hit close to home. The intended victim is his best friend's sister. Soon he is caught up in an intricate chase with one of the most devious psychopaths of his career—in a case that suddenly, unexpectedly, pulls him in like no other.

Laurant Madden found a home and a sense of security when she moved into the small Iowa town of Holy Oaks—but her contented life is shaken to the core as a cagey predator closes in on her. Her brother, Tom, insists that she turn to the only man he trusts to help her: Nick Buchanan. As an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger—and one false move will cost both of them eveything that matters.

In My Own Words:
While giving his last confessional of the day, Father Tom meets his worst fears.  Someone that has decided they want to kill his sister, Laurant.  The one and only person he can trust to keep her safe is his best friend, who happens to be on an elite task force of the FBI, Nick Buchanan.  Nick and Tommy have been friends since early childhood, but because of parents sharing responsibilities then each of them passing when the children were young, they never met.  Now that she has finally met him, she isn't sure she wants to let him go.  Nick makes it is mission to keep not only Tommy but also Laurant safe from this unknown psycho.

Laurent decides the best way to draw out the crazy person looking to kill her, is to pretend she and Nick are an item.  So going back to her little hometown and pretending all is normal, plus flashing her new engagement ring and Nick's brilliant smile just for good measure, should make the obsessed person red with anger.  As the danger gets near, the passion rises and Laurent lets Nick in on her own private secret.  While Nick is trying to battle the unknown force that is trying to kill the people he loves, he is also trying to come to grips with what he feels.  He also knows, there is no way a relationship can work and isn't willing to give it any thought, conscience thought that is.

Notable Quote:
"You wear your skirts to long"
"I do not"
"Okay, then you wear your legs to long."

This was my first Garwood book, but it will not be my last.  The first part of this book was pretty slow to me, a lot of back story was given, and in my opinion it would have been better to scatter it around the book, which was done, so it was some redundancy.  That being said, once I got to the dialogue, it was great.  Laurent and Nick were witty and she gave as much as she got.  She was strong but not in the alpha sense.  I loved reading the struggle Nick was having when it came to matters of the heart.  The secondary characters were great, I fell in love with her nosey neighbors almost immediately.  I was almost certain there were more than one bad guys from the beginning, but then I second guessed myself and I kept guessing until it was all revealed.  I loved being kept on my toes.  The bad guy was one that could give you nightmares because it is something that could actually happen.  Can't wait for the next in the Buchanan series, Mercy, starring Theo, who we met briefly in Heartbreaker.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Luke - Cheyenne McCray

Book Blurb:
After four years abroad, Trinity MacKenna has returned home to her family's ranch in southeastern Arizona. Everything in her life is going just the way she planned it—a home in London, a brilliant career, and she's practically engaged to a gorgeous English gentleman. But when Trinity meets Luke, the cowboy turns her perfect world upside down. Everything about him is virile and sexy, dark and dangerous—and definitely not part of Trinity’s carefully arranged plans.

From the moment Luke Denver sees the sensual strawberry blond, he knows he's got to have her. Luke is intrigued by Trinity’s combination of sophistication and innocence, boldness and shyness. Even when Trinity tells him she's taken, Luke doesn't let that stop him, because he's determined to make her his…no matter the cost.

In My Own Words:
Trinity comes home to regroup, to me it seems like she is here to make amends and reevaluate her life that she has become really proud of.  She has a home abroad that she loves, and a great career that is on the fast track and an almost fiancĂ©e that doesn't set her heart (or libido) on fire.  As soon as she hits town, she is sucked in to a holiday party wearing a daring dress feeling a little out of place and completely entranced in the cowboy staring at her from across the room.

Once home at the ranch, Trinity realizes her sister needs her more now than ever.  Finally being able to help with the investigation of the madness going on in her little hometown, she puts her computer expertise to work helping Zack locate the bad guys.  Unfortunately being back home, also puts her in harms way, not only with her life, but with her heart, as Luke is the ranch foreman for her sister.

Notable Scene:
Thrinity cried out and her eyelids flew open as the orgasm rocked her.
That's when she realized two crutial pieces of informationa the same time.  They hadn't used a condom, not at first and not now, either.
And, her sister was standing in the doorway to the office.

There is nothing better than a cowboy hero, unless of course that cowboy hero is also a DEA agent.  I fell in love with Luke with his first "sugar" comment.  I loved how he let Trinity get used to the idea of her being "his" completely and he wouldn't take anything less that her complete heart, mind and body.  It is usually the girl who puts those demands out there.  The book had it all, there were really bad guys doing really bad things, then there was an amazing love story that was so hot and intimate, the pages should have been burning.  I liked being able to catch up again with Zack and Skylar, and that they did play a part in the book, not just sitting on the sidelines being mushy and in love.  This story was just another stepping stone though in bringing down the operation, and I have no doubt that Clay, the next book and also the town lawman, will not rest until there is peace in his town.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Harvest Moon - Robyn Carr

Book Blurb:
Rising sous-chef Kelly Matlock's sudden collapse at work is a wake-up call. Disillusioned and burned out, she's retreated to her sister Jillian's house in Virgin River to rest and reevaluate.

Puttering in Jill's garden and cooking with her heirloom vegetables is wonderful, but Virgin River is a far cry from San Francisco. Kelly's starting to feel a little toounmotivated…until she meets Lief Holbrook. The handsome widower looks more like a lumberjack than a sophisticated screenwriter—a combination Kelly finds irresistible. But less appealing is Lief's rebellious stepdaughter, Courtney. She's the reason they moved from L.A., but Courtney's finding plenty of trouble even in Virgin River.

Kelly's never fallen for a guy with such serious baggage, but some things are worth fighting for. Besides, a bratty teenager can't be any worse than a histrionic chef…right?

In My Own Words:
Kelly is confronted by a very angry wife, the wife of the famed chef and mentor that she adores.  The same wife she was told was no longer in the picture, she begins to feel like the world is falling off its axis.  With the revelation that all is not as she imagined and that her mentor and lover (in her mind only) has lied to his wife AND to her and sent the wife to do the dirty work and clean up the mess.  After winding up in the hospital with high blood pressure, she quits her job, packs up her life and heads to Virgin River for some R&R with her beloved sister, Jillian.  Deciding she needed some liquid courage to break the news of her extended stay to her sister, she stops at Jack's for a drink and meets Lief, a single father just trying to make it after the death of his wife and a teenage daughter hell bent on rebelling.

As Kelly starts to heal, she starts to find herself and what she was meant to do, what she has always known she should do....cook.  Using the vegetables and fruits from Jillian's garden, she starts using her great grandmother's recipes and canning tons of goodies.  Along the way she meets someone at the farmers market, that changes her life AND direction.  Deciding she might just be able to make a living doing what she loves with her canned goodies, the new path is now set.  Now all she has to do is make it happen.

Kelly's biggest fan happens to be Leif, he loves just watching her cook, but loves sampling even better.  When the sparks start to fly, it is Kelly that is resistant to love.  Leif has so much going on in his life, Kelly starts to tire of being his school time fling, since he seems to only be able to see her when his teenage daughter, Courtney, is in school.  While trying to win over Courtney, which seems to be a loosing battle, Courtney is contacted by her biological father, and that is when all hell breaks loose.  Can Kelly win over a broken, needy and traumatized teen before she looses her sanity?

Notable Quote:
"Sometimes I really hate you."  He smiled a bit.  "I get that a lot."  (Courtney in a therapy session)

Every time I read a Virgin River book, it feels like coming home.  I wasn't so sure about this one, single father looses wife has temperamental teen who hates everyone.  But what was done was soooo different.  Yes, the story was one that you knew in the end they would all end up happy, but it was done in a way that you weren't so sure how they would get there.  I really enjoyed getting to see Jack and Preacher again.  And of course Jillian and Colin, but it was so great to see Kelly and Leif work through their issues, together.  I loved getting to see the therapy sessions with Courtney and Jerry.  He had a no nonsense way about him that she seemed to thrive on.  I really enjoyed Courtney and Amber's relationship, is totally a don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover story.  They both had ideas about the other and turned in to best friends.  My only complaint would be we didn't see Mel once, and since she is my favorite, I wanted to see her and catch up with her.  Understandably, Kelly and Leif had lots to work out and needed the book space, I just wish she would have popped up, even at the Halloween picnic.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Turning Back - Kaylea Cross

Book Back:
CIA communications expert Samarra Wallace is on the run from a faceless enemy when she learns terrorists have kidnapped and threatened to execute her cousin. She will do whatever it takes to free her, including breaking cover to contact the former teammate she is dangerously attracted to. Now all she has to do is convince him she's not working for the bad guys.

Ex-Army Ranger Ben Sinclair isn't sure he can trust Sam, but he can't turn her away. Lives are at stake and she may be the only way to capture the terrorist mastermind his team is hunting. Despite his reservations, he finds himself falling for her. But when Sam's innocence is questioned again during a botched operation in the remote mountains of Afghanistan, the team pays a terrible price for trusting her. In the wake of that staggering betrayal Ben must decide if she's the innocent woman he fell in love with, or if she's a traitor who'd set them up to die.

In My Own Words:
After Sam finds out she is not only being followed, but also being watched in her own home, she isn't sure who she can trust or exactly who is after her.  She packs a bag and heads off to try and stay alive long enough to figure out who is after her.  After a few nights on her own, she realizes she can no longer do it alone, so she contacts the one person she is positive would never hurt her, Ben.  Ben is trying to put all of the pieces to the puzzle together and coming up with a few pieces short, and it looks like Sam is a traitor that will do anything including sacrificing her team to get her cousin back.  Ben makes it his mission to keep close tabs on Sam to make sure she can not harm anyone, but that she is doing her job.  When a mission goes horribly wrong, and someone VERY close to Ben is almost killed, Sam's loyalty is called out and questioned.  Will the truth actually set her free??

This is the 3rd book in the SEAL series, and it is my favorite thus far.  An action packed book, from beginning to the end.  There were some parts of this book that were very hard for me to read, one in particular was very gruesome and brought tears to my eyes.  While, the scene was very hard to fathom, it was also hard to not keep going.  I felt like I was in the room with them as they watched the video as it was happening.  I loved how the characters (for the most part) have been involved in each book in this series.  I have really enjoyed getting to know them all, and try to plan out what I think might happen.  I have never read a series, where the bad guy is the same throughout the series, and I thought I would get bored with it, but I haven't.  The author has kept it new and every time I think they have him....The moment when Sam realized that Ben thought she set them up, was gut wrenching to me, and the things he said to her in the hospital made me cringe.  My favorite scene was in the Epilogue, totally made me giggle.  This book definitely played on my emotions, more than once.  My issues with this book it is seems a little long and the "thought" sequences are rather wordy and unnecessary, I caught myself skimming a lot of those.  That being said, I can't wait for Rys' book.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Breaking Free - Teresa Reasor

Book Back:
When LIEUTENANT ADAM “HAWK” YAZZIE rescues ENSIGN BRETT “CUTTER” WEAVER during a mission in Iraq, his faith in his team’s loyalty is shaken. Someone in the team attacked Cutter and left him for dead. But who?

ZOE WEAVER races to her brother Brett’s bedside. He stood by her while she fought her way back from a devastating injury, and she’s determined to do the same for him. Though drawn to Hawk’s good looks and steady strength, she’s reluctant to get involved with a man in uniform. But with Brett lying in a coma, Hawk may prove the key to what happened to her brother.

Hawk is torn between loyalty to his men and his need to see justice done. When he tries to save a troubled teammate’s career, he unwittingly puts Zoe’s life in danger. Can he lead the rest of the team in a rescue operation to save her? Or will one of Hawk's brothers in arms destroy the woman he loves?

In My Own Words:
When a mission goes horribly wrong, the SEAL team comes home to recover and heal the team.  Zoe and her mother (Clara) rush to be by his side and help with whatever it is that needs to be done to heal Cutter.  Zoe is on a mission of her own, to find out how the hell her brother ended up in the hospital with a smashed in head...little does she know that Hawk has the same mission.

Hawk's first act of business, to ease his guilt, is to offer his home to Cutter's sister and mother a place to live while they are waiting on Cutter to wake from his head injuries.  When Clara has to rush to her other daughter's side because of a pregnancy gone awry, Hawk and Zoe are left all alone and it isn't long before they throw caution to the wind and sparks fly.

While starting to finally start to get some clues as to what happened on the mission, Hawk is put in a position of having to defend his team, not only to Zoe and the brass but to himself.  Can it be possible that one of his own tried to kill another brother in the heat of battle?  Or will Hawk figure it out to late to save the only woman he has ever loved?

Notable Quote:
"We've been grilling out a lot, and I catch a few rays while Hawk's burning whatever meat we're having."

The best word I can use to describe this book is EPIC.  The heartbreak of a family over a severe accident to one of their own, not only the family by blood, but the brothers in arms.  There was a part of the book where Clara had to go because her daughter was having complications in her pregnancy, and she said "I shouldn't have to choose between them."  That really struck me, and made me tear up a little.  This is an epic journey that had ups and downs and loves and hurts.  It is a long story, which I actually appreciated because nothing felt rushed, and on the other hand, it didn't feel drawn out either.  The author did an amazing job of keeping my attention.  I thought I had the bad guy figured out several times, then something would change my mind and I would move on to someone else.  I didn't figure it out until the end, which I really appreciated.  My one complaint would be, the book was pretty long, so it didn't appear there was a rush to end the story, but the HEA seemed a little rushed at the end, in my opinion.  I don't at all think that took away from the story and I can't wait until the next one is out.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romantic suspense story!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Only Mine - Susan Mallery

Back Blurb:
You can't win if you don't play...

Her town's lack of men may make headlines, but it isn't news to Dakota Hendrix. The beautiful blonde has bigger problems to deal with, such as overseeing the romance reality competition filming in Fool's Gold. Screening eligible bachelors is a difficult enough task, but Dakota hits an unexpected snag when a sexy stranger comes to town.

Finn Anderssen will do anything to keep his twin brothers— the perfect contestants— off the show. Despite Dakota's better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious outsider. Like her, Finn knows about heartbreak and how a family can fall apart, so she doesn't dare to hope for anything more than a fling. After all, even in the Land of Happy Endings, finding true love is never as easy as it looks on TV.

In My Own Words:
After a filming crew takes over her town, the Mayor puts Dakota in charge of keeping the towns interest in the mix, therefore Dakota's own plans on hold.  During the beginning of production, a brother of two contestants shows up at her desk offering her the sun the moon and lots of money if she makes sure his brothers aren't chosen for the "love fest" show.  Finn wants to make sure his twin brothers go back to Alaska where they belong to finish college and start learning the family business.  The attraction between Finn and Dakota is instantaneous and is immediately acted upon by both of them.  During the getting to know you phase of the relationship, Dakota also has to explain to her family that several months ago, she had some tests done and her doctor recently told her that there was a one in a million chance of her ever getting pregnant, so she has started adoption papers and hopes to have her own family her own way.  When the call finally comes that there is a little girl for Dakota, it is Finn that comes to rescue and flies Dakota to LA to pick up the baby and then helps in the making of a new home when Hannah arrives.  Knowing that Finn is only there temporarily, Dakota tries her best to guard her heart, but what is there left to do when the stick turns pink??

Notable Quote:
"...You'll have to tell me if I become one of those annoying, interfering grandparents.  I'm not saying I'll change my behavior, but I will at least feel guilty about it."

This is the 4th book in the Fool's Gold series and while I enjoyed them all thus far, this is by far my favorite.  The town is one I would love to live in and raise my own family.  I love the feuding beauty shop sisters and the pink bar, and all of the sense of....home.  The relationship with Finn and Dakota was almost scripted for lack of a better word, you just knew how it would turn out, but reading how they got there was an exciting ride.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

In The Air Tonight - Stephanie Tyler

Haunted by a mission he barely survived, Delta Force operative Mace Stevens still carries a soldier’s burden. Running a small bar in upstate New York, he remains a stone-cold warrior who guards dangerous secrets and stays ready for anything. Anything except beautiful, vulnerable Paige Grayson, who shows up at his door, demanding answers about her heroic stepbrother’s death under his command.

Paige bears burdens, too. She’s plagued by demons unleashed by an older brother who committed mass murder before her eyes. But here in this snowy haven with Mace, she almost feels safe from the menacing promises of her insane sibling. As a nurse whose hands can read the deepest thoughts of anyone she touches, Paige knows that Mace needs her as desperately as she needs Mace. And when a faceless killer begins unleashing fresh terror, Mace proves just how far he will go to save the woman who means everything to him.

In My Own Words:
After a near death experience, and seeing her face plastered on the news, again, Paige decides it is time to find out some truths.  She heads to see her brother's teammates and isn't going to take no for an answer.  As soon as she walks in to his bar, he knows who she is and Mace is determined to make her go away.  With all of the determination you can't help but to expect sparks to fly.  Mace and his "brother" Caleb are at his hideaway bar to help recuperate from the last FUBAR mission that cost them the life of a brother and almost their own.  Caleb has lost his memory and Mace sees it as his own mission to help him regain it.  Mace knows all about Paige and her life, knows her secrets and Paige has now made it her mission to uncover all of his, and steal his heart.

Caleb can't remember anything but knows the last thing in his mind is him holding a bloody knife standing over Mace who had a cut throat.  No one wants to believe that he could have done it, but Caleb can't forget about what he remembers, no matter how drugged he was, or what they gave him, he questions himself and what he did to his brothers in arms.  Vivi came to the bar to see for herself that Caleb is indeed well.  When she walks in, he remembers her but only from the pictures he has been drawing, no details no emotions.  While Vivi tries her best to break down his defenses, Caleb tries his best to keep her at arms length.

I have to admit, when I first started reading this book, I was leery of Paige's "gift".  My thoughts were, this is a romantic suspense novel, not a paranormal novel.  The "gift" could have turned cheesy really quickly, but Stephanie Tyler pulled it off beautifully.  I have loved each of the Shadow Force books, but I have to say, I think this is my favorite.  I remember thinking a few times, holy cow this girl has been through the ringer, is there HEA that is actually going to happen?  There were so many emotional scenes, and several with Caleb that actually made me cry right along with the characters.  The thing I love most about these characters is the family unit they have made.  I can't decide who I want to learn more about, Kell or Reid, but it is a good thing Kell is next, I think I have a crush on him.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Underground - Nicole Laurent

Kayla Reid awakens to find her MIA ex-black ops soldier and the love of her life extracting her from impending danger and her lover s bed. Alex takes Kayla on the run and underground where forced seclusion fires up tempers and tension while offering a second chance at life and love. Page turning suspense,steamy & emotional.

In My Own Words:
Kayla wakes in her boyfriends bed to find her ex, Alex, who disappeared without notice 2 years prior, having a gun trained on Brian her currently main squeeze.  Alex tells Kayla she must leave now, cause she is in danger and he needs to take her to a safe house until the danger has been taken care of.  At the safe house, Alex makes an attempt at training Kayla in self defense tactics and shows her the ins and outs of his lair.  Without really meaning to, Alex ends up in a compromising situation with Kayla when his right hand man, Jace shows up on the scene.  Jace's job is to prepare Kayla for anything that can happen, and stay with her until Alex returns.  Wait, backup, until Alex returns??  Yep, Kayla wasn't all that jazzed either to hear that Alex was going to leave her with the overbearing, rude, neanderthal.  Just before he leaves to take care of business, Alex has Jace install a tracking device in both Kayla and himself.  His tracking device is strictly for her, which was one of the sweetest moments.  When his "bleep" is silent, she assumes and plans for the worst.  When they are finally reunited, sparks....and bullets fly.

I had this book on my Nook for some time and just kept overlooking it.  I am really bummed I did that, this was a really good romantic suspense book.  Not only are there really creepy bad guys, but you have an alpha male that has only sights for one woman ::sigh::  the suspense is hot, the sex is hotter.  Not only that, but it turns out she is trainable and holds her own when the need arrises.  I sincerely hope this is the beginning of a series, cause I would love to know what happens to Jace.