Fast Track by Julie Garwood ( Buchanan-Renard #12)

Fast Track by Julie GarwoodAvailable: July 29, 2014 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Dutton Adult

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.

Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.

Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he unknowingly puts her life at risk. He’s recently angered a powerful congressman by refusing to purchase overvalued land. Congressman Chambers is not a man to let such an offense slide, and he has the resources to get even and to get what he wants.

In Australia sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but multiple attempts on Aiden’s life are made while Cordelia is with him, and he realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.

What a fun, sexy and engaging story, I absolutely adored this one. Ms. Garwood has always been an author I love to read, she creates such amazing characters and stories that grab you from the beginning and do not let go.

Cordelia Kane grew up in the Chicago area with her father. He started as an auto mechanic and built a multimillion dollar empire that he recently sold. When he suffers a heart attack that he can’t recover from, he reveals something startling about her mother. Cordie is a high school chemistry teacher, who just received her PhD, and with the ending of the school year she has given her notice, not sure what she wants to do next but she is ready to move on.

She finds out that her mother gave her father a fake name when they got married, her real name is Simone and she comes from a very wealthy family in Sydney Australia. Cordie wants to confront Simone (she can’t call her mother) so flies down with Aiden in the private jet. Cordie makes it known to Simone that she is alive and well as she stirs up trouble and anger within the family.

Regan and Sophie are Cordie’s best friends, they grew up together along with Regan’s three older brothers who treated all the girls as sisters, Cordie tried to keep it secret that she was in love with one of the brothers, Aiden but her friends knew. As they uncover truths about Cordie’s family the danger ramps up, there are threats that can’t be ignored and Aiden becomes increasing willing to keep Cordie by his side to keep her safe.

I really enjoyed this book; it is part of a long running series but can easily be read as a standalone. The characters are interesting, the premise holds your attention and I was engrossed until the end.

When I find I am crying about a character I barely know in the beginning of a book, I know the author has me hooked. We meet Cordie while she is sitting with her father in the hospital, the relationship she has with her father is so charming, we not only see what she is going through we also find that her father was a pillar in the community and everyone loved him and will miss him. And what a great heroine Cordie is, an intelligent woman that can hold her own in most situations, that is except when Aiden is around, when Aiden is near she gets a bit flustered and can’t think straight. She has loved him for years, and although her friends knew of her crush, they believe she has moved on, which is exactly what she wants to do. During their last conversation her father talked about loving a woman for years, this is a life she does not want.

Aiden exudes confidence, he is a take charge sexy man with only one flaw, he has never noticed Cordie for more than a friend, at least until their recent trip. While he helps her with the revealing (to Simone) he begins to see her differently and they share some very sexy times together, but when they are get home, he is back to his workaholic status and she continues to make some changes in her life, and they both seem OK with the separation. When danger comes too close and Cordie is threatened his eyes open to the possibility of her not being there and he is surprised at his feelings.

The pace works well in this book; it starts out slow as we go through the emotion of loss, it gets a bit more edgy and suspenseful while in Australia as Cordie meets her relations then the actions heats up when threats are made and people get hurt. The secondary characters add so much to the story and I like how we get to see Cordie’s best friends enjoying life since we last saw them featured in previous books. I also like how the author portrays Simone and her family, sometimes things are not always bright and cheery, and that works well here. All in all an engaging romance with some suspense and danger.

I give Fast Track by Julie Garwood 4.25 stars!

Hot On The Hunt by Melissa Cutler (ICE: Black Ops Defenders #3)

Hot On The Hunt by Melissa CutlerAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Harlequin

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

This ex-ICE agent has one last chance with the one who got away — if he can protect her long enough… Black-ops agent Alicia Troy spent years plotting the perfect revenge on the man who left her for dead…until her plan is foiled by her ex-teammate—and ex-lover—who taught her the meaning of betrayal. She can’t trust John Witter…so why can’t she stop wanting him?

For John, it’s a race to get to Alicia’s intended victim before she does because he’s the only one who can prove John’s innocence, but the race turns into a battle of wits against the woman who believes he deceived her. But when their former agency turns on them both, labeling them “armed and dangerous,” John has a new mission: keep his woman alive.

This is an exciting series that takes you from Mexico to the current setting of the Virgin Islands and Martinique. The action is non-stop and the danger is daunting and I love how we are getting John’s side of the story.

John Witter is a former Green Beret sniper and a former ICE agent and has been wasting his days in the Virgin Islands for the last two years but now he is ready to move on. When he hears that his former best friend has escaped from prison and his former lover is on the move but missing it is just the jumpstart he needs to shake up his life.

Twenty months ago John was involved in a job with other ICE agents including the love of his life Alicia, and several were almost killed. Alicia in turn believes John was in on the betrayal to leave her for dead, Rory (also former ICE) tried to kill her implicated John and is now in prison; at least he was before the breakout. John wants to find Rory, get him to talk in order to clear his name before Alicia kills him.

Alicia is a soldier and computer genius, she worked with ICE and was in love with John, it devastated her when she believed John was in on the betrayal with Rory. With revenge on her mind, she does the only thing possible, breaks Rory out of jail in order to kill him, unfortunately John wants him first. While they both hunt Rory, the attraction they felt for each other has never gone away, an additional problem that has them both questioning the past.

This is a great series and I have enjoyed each book. They all have heart pounding action along with some steamy romance scenes that set the stage for memorable books.

Alicia is hurting and has been for almost two years, she is so full of revenge that she risks everything to complete her mission. When she first sees John after all this time she is floored and tries to contain her emotions. They had something very special at one time and for the last few months she has felt the betrayal of that love and has a hard time putting aside her revenge in order to listen to what John has to say. John is also hurting, he has felt the betrayal of someone he thought was his best friend, someone he would have laid down his life for and he is angry. He is also angry at Alicia for not believing in him after all they shared and tries several times to talk to her, she is not ready at first.

There is still a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding between all the parties involved and although I believe in both John and Alicia, there are times when I was not sure of the newcomers and whose side they are on, such as Logan, the new face of ICE, he is bent on arresting Alicia and I am not sure why he does not listen to reason.

And when I say the action is non-stop, believe me, they go from the beaches of the Virgin Islands with a hair raising motorcycle chase, to an incredible helicopter ride, a high speed motorboat crash, to being left out in the middle of the ocean to swim culminating with a hurricane bearing down on them and new ICE agents on their heels, Whew, I was exhausted just reading about their adventures. Yet in all this excitement, the two do find some quiet time to get sexy together.

I enjoy seeing past ICE operatives come down to help, seeing Diego and Vanessa together along with Ryan and Avery adds so much to the story. I also enjoyed the moment after all was settled when they look around at each other and realize how much has changed in the last two years, how much each agent has grown and I love how they look toward the future.

I give Hot on the Hunt by Melissa Cutler 4 stars!

Pia Saves The Day by Thea Harrison (Elder Races #6.6)

Pia Saves The Day by Thea HarrisonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn’t enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.

Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.

Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.

It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this…

 

Pia Saves The Day is a short novella that takes place right after the previous novella, Dragos Takes A Holiday. Dragos, Pia and Liam are preparing to move into the house they own up state. During some routine construction there is an accident that kills a worker and seriously harms Dragos. The blast causes him to have amnesia, which I found to be slightly blah. I mean…everyone and their mother has done an amnesia story, but Harrison does a decent job of making it unique and putting her spin on it.  Since Dragos can’t remember who he is, this gives Pia a chance to win him over again…which of course she does.

I mean, I went into it knowing what the timeline of events was going to be since amnesia stories are highly predictable. Person loses memories tragically during accident of some kind, person slowly gets memories back, person has hot sex which jogs some more memories, happy ever after, the end. Even with the predictability I found I enjoyed this simply because I adore the world Harrison has created and these short little novellas are a way for me to climb back into the world between the standard length novels. Plus, DRAGOS, need I say more? Sex on a stick, that man. Yummy, memory or no memory.

There is one more novella before the next full length book which I know I will grab and read because no matter how cliche, Harrison has me coming back for more. I can’t get enough!

 

I give Pia Saves The Day by Thea Harrison 4 stars!

Black Rook by Kelly Meade (Cornerstone Run Trilogy #3)

Black Rook by Kelly MeadeAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Penguin InterMix

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

She never saw this coming… Brynn Atwood is a low-level Magus whose unpredictable precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people—and an embarrassment to her highly-regarded father. After a frightening vision in which her father is murdered by a loup garou man, Brynn decides to prove herself by finding the killer, and stopping them at any cost.

Her target is Rook McQueen, the son of a small-town loup garou Alpha. Despite being the youngest of three, Rook is first in line to inherit the role of Alpha, a duty he isn’t sure he’s capable of fulfilling. When Brynn finally meets Rook, she doesn’t expect the attraction that draws her to him—and him to her.

No longer believing him a murderer, Brynn and Rook strike an alliance to find her father’s real killer. But when his older brother is targeted by an unknown enemy, Rook will have to choose between his growing feelings for Brynn and his duty as the future Alpha of his community.

Black Rook is a new trilogy featuring wolves, packs, magic and vampires all the elements to make a great paranormal romance. The world building and character creation are amazing and I look forward to reading more of this series.

Brynn Atwood is a second daughter of a powerful Prime Magus. A disappointment to all her people, she has visions but they are uncontrolled and her father Archimedes Atwood, a powerful practitioner of elemental magic, does not trust her seer ability. Her most recent vision has her traveling to the town of Cornerstone, a community, or Run of loup garou.

Rook McQueen is the third son of Thomas McQueen the Alpha of the Run, he is hard on Rook because of his status in the Run, Rook is a Black wolf, usually a future Alpha but since he is the third born he will have to work harder than others. His two brothers also have important roles within the Run, Bishop a Gray wolf and first born is also Alpha material and Knight, a White wolf keeps harmony in the Run.

Bishop realizes right away that Brynn is not your ordinary visitor to Cornerstone, she seems to be looking for someone and she does not have the usually human smell. When they question Brynn they come to a startling realization that there is something very different about her. When a massacre happens at a neighboring Run, things spiral out of control, there are unknown hybred species attacking with threats to other Runs including Cornerstone and specifically pointed at the brothers, and Brynn seems to be the center to all that is happening.

I have enjoyed several other series from this author so when I found this book was up for review I jumped at it. Her characters are always interesting and the plot and premises’ are usually heart thumping as we go on a roller coaster ride until the end.

I like Brynn she is intelligent and strong with a vulnerable side to her. I did not realize how strong she is at first because her confidence has been beaten down so much during her life, she was always told she was the inferior daughter and would never amount to anything, basically a disappointment to her race, so when she steps up on several occasions to match wits with others I was happily surprised. She can hold her with anyone and I like her personality yet she still seems to be a bit timid around the Alpha of Cornerstone and does not question when he makes her stay in town.

Rook is a Black wolf, true Alpha material yet born as the third son, you can see traces of both his heritage and his birth order in his personality. He is a true protector yet is willing to step aside and let his brother be the Alpha someday. He also struggles with some confidence as he wants his father to believe in him but is annoyed when his father questions him or second guesses him. However his father is just trying to figure out who will become the next Alpha.

The world building is intriguing and I like that each species knows about each other, some tolerate those in existence while others do not and the conflicts will continue to grow. I like Brynn and Rook together, there is an attraction right away but so much is going on that the continued danger keeps their attraction on hold until close to the end. The secondary characters all play pivotal roles and there were several that stood out, such as Thomas (Alpha) the two brothers who will get their own books, Bishop and Knight and several of those that live both in Cornerstone or other Runs, I really enjoy how Ms. Meade portrays the interconnection between all the species, and she creates some truly evil characters. This is the first in a trilogy and while the main plot is concluded in this book there is an overall story arc that continues into the next books.

The plot progression is fast and furious as there is a lot of action and it kept me turning the pages as I wanted to know how all the pieces and parts fit together; there are several surprises with enough twists and turns to keep you enthralled. Overall I really enjoyed this book, love the premise and the promise of spending more time in this world of wolves.

I give Black Rook by Kelly Meade 4 stars!

Dare To Surrender by Carly Phillips (Dare To Love #3)

Dare To Surrender by Carly PhillipsAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become – or risk losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more?

 

Another winning erotic romance from the incredibly talented Carly Phillips! In my review of book two, Dare To Desire I noted how hot these books were progressively getting and Phillips definitely delivered the goods this time around!

Isabelle just wants to stand on her own two feet after leaving her domineering ex-boyfriend behind. Needing to prove to herself and everyone else that she doesn’t need anyone to take care of her. Yet from the moment she sees acquaintance Gabe while sitting in the police station on a trumped up charge, her body and her mind yearn to be possessed by him. Convincing herself she can take the help he offers, if only on a temporary basis, she agrees to go home with him.

From the first moment he saw her several years ago he knew he wanted her. When Gabe sees her sitting in a police station he sees his chance to finally tell her how he feels and to take her home and worship her body. When he realizes how much she needs to realize her own potential before she can be his he reluctantly lets her go…again. But reunions are coming on the island of Eden and he’s intent on proving to his independent woman that she can have it all and still be her own person.

What a fantastic, emotional roller coaster! I adored Iz and her fierce need to feel independent. To often heroines in romances rely on the hero to feel whole and Isabelle was the exact opposite. After living in a possessive relationship for years she needed to make it on her own, even if she craved Gabe like nothing she’d ever felt before. Her self esteem wasn’t all that great but her growth throughout the book had her learning that she was perfect the way she was and her confidence soon rebounded.

Gabriel Dare has got to be one of the hottest heroes of Phillips to date! His willingness to let Isabelle go in order for her to grow and understand her worthiness was incredibly heartwarming and reaffirmed my love for him as a character. Though he felt some guilt over past relationships, his determination to overcome them in order to be the best man for Isabelle was forefront in his mind. Giving her both an epic opportunity in her job and a chance to re-connect on a lush tropical island gave him the best of both worlds for his Iz. I did wish he had beat the crap out of her ex on several occasions, but true to his character he instead dealt the man the hard blows professionally, which I suppose is just as good, if not a bit disappointing that his face wasn’t pounded in.

Dare To Surrender is a must read for Phillips fans as well as erotic romance fans alike! This can be read as a stand alone if you must but I highly recommend reading the prior two as well because each one is incredible! The Dare family has been through a lot together and their willingness to remain close and envelop new additions just reaffirms their familial bonds. This is a fantastic series and a must read!

 

I give Dare To Surrender by Carly Phillips 5 stars!

Cover Reveal: Tempting The Player by Kat Latham

Tempting The Player by Kat Latham - 300 px wide

Book Blurb and Buy Links

Book three of the London Legends

Best friends make the best lovers.

Libby Hart and Matt Ogden are perfect for each other—as friends. They’ve known each other for ages. They act as each other’s plus-ones. They even share custody of a dog. And if there’s always been a little spark between them, so what? It’s never been worth jeopardizing their friendship.

Professional rugby player Matt is fighting for a starter position with the London Legends—and that’s not the only thing he’s fighting. A crippling fear of flying means he’s struggling to get his career off the ground. He has no time for a relationship, even if Libby does make him ache. As an airline pilot, Libby’s looking for a stay-at-home husband so she can have a family without sacrificing her high-flying career. Matt’s certainly not that man.

But just because they don’t have a future together doesn’t mean they can’t have a right now. When Matt asks Libby for help overcoming his fear, they agree to take a vacation from their platonic relationship—whenever they fly together, they can have sex. It’s the perfect way to resolve all that built-up tension. As long as they can avoid getting a little too comfortable…

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1mLF6k1 
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1mLG9jX 
Books a Million: http://bit.ly/W0j7ML 
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1mYzZyP

About Kat

Kat Latham - 350px

Kat Latham is a California girl who moved to Europe the day after graduating from UCLA, ditching her tank tops for raincoats. She taught English in Prague and worked as an editor in London before she and her British husband moved to the Netherlands. Kat’s other career involves writing and editing for charities, and she’s traveled to Kenya, Ethiopia and India to meet heroic people helping their communities survive disasters. Find out more on her website: katlatham.com.

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A Matter of Sin by Jess Micheals (The Ladies Book of Pleasures #1)

A Matter Of Sin by Jess MichealsAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Samhain

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

The widowed Lady Isabel Avenbury has one remaining younger sister to shepherd into an advantageous marriage, and then she will be free. Free to take a lover to fill her lonely nights—the only option left for a woman on the delicate edge of a certain age.

Except when she chaperones her sister to a country house party, she is taken aback by her sudden, undeniable attraction to the host. And deliciously scandalized when she finds a copy of the notorious, much-gossiped-about Ladies Book of Pleasures in his library.

When Seth Rowland, Marquis Lyndham, notices his book is missing, his interest is piqued as to which of the potential young brides at his party has absconded with it—and he’s shocked to discover it’s Isabel. Though older than the women he’d planned to court, the powerful beauty exudes a sensuality he cannot ignore.

The book inspires them to begin a desperate, passionate affair. But their time together is running out and they must choose. Follow society’s rules, or take a chance at love.

Oh my. This book = swoon. I know that’s an old-fashioned term, but given that this is a historical romance, I think I can be forgiven. It has been a long, long time since a book kept me awake until the wee hours reading – only to wish I could ignore work, chores, even my family, so I could finish it. I loved this book. I loved Jess Michael’s writing. This was my first book by her, but it definitely won’t be my last. I loved Seth, and I adored Seth and Isobel together.

Seth Rowland, the Marquis of Lyndham, and Lady Isabel Avenbury have known each other for a long time. They travel in the same social circles, and there has always been a certain awareness between them. Seth first admired her when they met a long time ago, but he was too young to consider marriage then. Isabel has spent the years since the beginning of their acquaintance married to a much older man and raising her two half-sisters. While she shared a mutual affection with her now-deceased husband, it was not a love match, and her marriage of convenience was shadowed by disappointment because she was unable to produce an heir.

Now that her sister Marjorie is happy and settled in marriage, Isabel intends to do the same for her other sister before finally doing something for herself. After giving Serena a Season and hopefully finding her a suitable match, Isabel plans to have an affair. She knows the idea is scandalous and she’s not quite sure how to pull it off, but despite being barren and too old to be considered an acceptable bride, she longs for romance and passion in her life. What she doesn’t plan on is her attraction to Seth, a man she is completely unsuitable for.

Lord Lyndham needs a bride. Ever since his title was passed on to him upon his older brother’s death, he has had the weight of carrying on the family line on his shoulders. To do that, he needs a bride who will give him an heir. It is during a house party held at his country estate with the purpose of “showing off” several eligible young ladies that he once again comes into contact with Isabel. She is there acting as a chaperone for her sister Serena, one of the eligible young ladies his mother invited. From the instant he sees Lady Avenbury again, Seth is captivated. He can barely tolerate going through the social niceties with all of the silly young women in attendance. All he can think about is Isabel. When he discovers that she ‘borrowed’ a scandalous book from his library, he is intrigued and aroused. He wants the shy, almost innocent widow with a desperation that shocks him.

The fact that Isabel is completely wrong for him only seems to add fuel to the fire of their mutual attraction. They are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. I could feel how much they wanted each other. I could feel how desperate they were to be together, even though they knew nothing could come of it. Seth needed a young, fertile bride. Instead he falls for the mature, passionate, caring woman who can never give him the son his family needs.

Seth was a wonderful hero. I almost had one instant where I didn’t like him for not following his friend’s advice, but his actions only proved how desperately he wanted Isabel and that made it all the more real. I loved that Isabel gave in to her own desires despite knowing she had no future with him. She was helpless to resist Seth and came alive with his touch. I think the secondary characters were written perfectly, from Seth’s mother and his best friend to Isabel’s friends and sisters. The scandalous book aspect only added a little more eroticism to an already steamy book.

I’m somewhat of a picky reader. For me to love a book, the author’s writing style has to ‘click’ with me. The characters’ dialogue has to be real. I need to fall in love with the hero, while at the same time hoping against hope that he falls in love with the heroine. Their chemistry has to jump off of the pages, and I want to feel the romance. This book delivered on all of those counts. The forbidden lovers storyline may not be new, but the way Jess Michael’s delivers it, I’m having a hard time remembering reading anything similar.

I give A Matter of Sin by Jess Micheals 4.75 stars!