Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton (Hope #2)

Hope Ignites by Jaci BurtonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Jove

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Logan McCormack likes his isolated life on the ranch, until a movie crew starts filming there.

When actress Desiree Jenkins blows into his life, she wrecks it harder than the Oklahoma winds with her brutal honesty and soft touch. Des knows this is a temporary stay, but she loves the open freedom of the land, and for the first time in her life, Des feels like she might have found a place she can call home, with a man she might be falling in love with. But Logan’s heart is tougher than the soil beneath them—can she convince him that they belong together?

I love Ms. Burton’s books; they are always fun, sexy reads that never disappoint and oh those covers are so good. Hope Ignites has a grouchy hero and a fun engaging heroine with interesting secondary characters that add so much to the story and I just ate it up. I am excited for more stories surrounding this small town called Hope.

Logan McCormack owns a large working ranch, mainly keeping to himself. On a whim he lets a movie crew film on the property and he had regretted his lapse in judgment ever since. His cook/housekeeper Martha is the opposite and is so excited to have them around that when they get invited to watch a taping she drives Logan crazy.

Desiree (Des) Jenkins is the star of the movie and her best friend Colt is the leading man. When they meet the owner of the ranch Des can’t seem to get over Logan and frequently seeks him out. She loves to push his buttons, getting under his skin because she knows there is an attraction between them and she is bound and determined to not let it go to waste. As a child Des moved around a lot as most military families do, she never wanted that nomadic lifestyle yet seems to have picked a career that does just that. She does have dreams of more permanence and saves all her money for her vision. As Logan and Des spend time together the attraction is too great to ignore but what about a future?

This is such a good book; I love the relationship between Logan and Des. Des is a hoot, full of personality and spirit and I enjoy looking through her eyes at everything she sees; she gets such a joy out of it all. I like the way she makes Logan take her on a tour of Hope, even though it is a small town she wants to see it all, it is so cute. This is everything she has dreamed of, settling down in a small town, getting to know the people that live here, really being a part of the community. I love when she visits the high school play auditions she is so down to earth and her excitement along with the kids is so contagious. And Logan, what to say about him, a bit jaded and harden against love, he does not want to fall for the same type of woman his father did and have her be miserable. His mother’s desertion did a number on her sons and it shows in everything Logan does.

The relationship unfolds slowly between the two, Des conspires to be with him as she likes him right away but the funny part is he goes along with it, he likes being around her and although sounds growly when she mentions doing something together, he always does it. She is bold and pushy in a good way and the sparks light up the night when they are together. I adored them! Secondary characters added so much, I really like Colt the sexy leading man that wants to stop living a lie, I have high hopes it works for him. Martha the cook and mother figure around the ranch is loveable and I like how she takes care of everyone but squees with the best of them when she gets to watch the crew make the movie.

There is not much drama or action, just two engaging people slowly getting to know each other and falling in love, the big drama moment is when they must decide on their future and then it seems a little rushed. This can easily be read as a standalone as the author weaves previous characters in seamlessly. I absolutely enjoyed this small town story full of heart and romance and I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series – or for anything that Ms. Burton writes.

I give Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton 4.25 stars!

Rebecca’s Lost Journals by Lisa Renee Jones (Inside Out #1.1-1.4 and #2.5)

Rebecca's Lost Journals by Lisa Renee JonesAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Gallery

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Includes Rebecca’s Lost Journals #1-4 
(The SeductionThe ContractHis SubmissiveMy Master)
and The Master Undone
In this stand alone collection connected to the Best Selling Inside Out Series, you meet Rebecca Mason, the intriguing woman who penned an erotic journal that changed everyone’s life it touched. This is her story, in her words…..

Rebecca’s Lost Journals…..

Rebecca Mason has known heartache and sorrow in her life, losing everyone she loves. She’s on her own in San Francisco, lost in every way, until she dares to make the decision to chase her dream of working in the art world. It is then that he meets a rich, seductively powerful man who will become the Master she never knew she wanted and change her life forever. He will lead her on a dark, passionate journey where pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain, and where every limit she once had is no more. In this man, she will find solace to her pain, an escape from the ache inside her. And in him, she will discover a darkness she may never escape.

Bonus Story included:

Master Undone in his POV… 

I told him goodbye, and I will not call him. I know if I do, it will be my undoing, and I’ll once again be caught up in his spell. I will once again be . . . lost.

In her private journals, Rebecca laid bare her soul, revealing her obsession for the one man whose erotic demands captivated her imagination–and enslaved her forever. Now, with Rebecca no longer in his life “he” is lost, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself and about control he holds in such high regard. One women will reach out to heal him and then turn away, leaving him haunted. She is nothing he thought he wanted and somehow everything he needs. He tells himself to forget her but he cannot escape his desire for her. He has to have more..

 

**********CONTAINS SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE SERIES**********

 

Rebecca’s Lost Journal’s are diary entries from the mysterious Rebecca who we now know was murdered shortly after leaving Mark in the Inside Out series. These were meant to be read in conjunction with the series, but really they kind of stand on their own. It’s a weird mind set to get into because as diary entries, these read a lot differently than a regular book would. Personally I find first person POV harder to read for whatever reason. Something about it pulls me from the story every time and it just takes me longer to finish a book wrote that way. However, I did enjoy this look into Rebecca’s mind and how she ended up where she was when she met her demise.

It’s easy to see early on that Rebecca’s feelings for Mark were growing quickly. Even when presented with a contract to be a submissive and to only refer to him as “Master” Rebecca wanted to please him. She was really indecisive and came across as totally naive for most of the book. Mark took advantage of her lack of knowledge and pushed her boundaries constantly. He’s a character you kinda love to hate in a way. He’s sexy but his controlling and domineering personality make him a man who refuses to bend. His need for control rides him and even when presented with losing Rebecca he couldn’t seem to tell her he cared about her on a level that surpassed D/s.

Of course the sex scenes are very well done, even wrote as diary entries. Rebecca’s slips into story telling mode quite often which helps the transition in the writing style. The scenes were, as expected, very hot as she delves into the true nature of being a submissive and what it entails. The confusion and pull she feels are palpable.

The Master Undone, told from Mark’s POV left me confused in a way. He obviously cared about Rebecca immensely and yet shortly after he learns of her death he’s already becoming obsessed with a new woman, one that will be unwilling to bend to his need for control as easily. It was like a slap in the face for him to rebound as quickly as he did. I was slightly affronted on Rebecca’s behalf.

These are very short novellas when added all together only have roughly 200 pages combined. Lovers of this world Jones has created are sure to enjoy these as they are spicy reads through and through. It was nice to be able to tie everything together surrounding Rebecca and see things from her perspective. Seeing Mark through Rebecca’s eyes was something that I think Jones did on purpose to pique more interest as a full length book from his POV draws closer to release.

 

I give Rebecca’s Lost Journals by Lisa Renee Jones 4 stars! 

Kindling The Moon by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell #1)

Kindling The Moon by Jenn BennettAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . . 

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Cady wants nothing more than to live her quiet life and stay under the radar. Sure, no one knows who she really is and that makes being friends extremely hard, but it’s for their own good that they don’t know the truth. She’s made a good life for herself co-owning a popular demon bar and staying under the laws radar. No one needs to know her parents are famous occultists accused of the murders of several high ranking, rival occults leaders. As their daughter, she’s also wanted and could be held accountable for the murders herself if ever found.

When her parents show back up in the last place she expected she’s told to figure out the truth or pay for their sins herself. Her search for answers leads her to a man named Lon who is reluctant to help her out. But he holds stolen books no one has seen in years that may give her some insight into the demon she believes is responsible for the murders. With time quickly running out, Cady has to figure out the past in order to save her future.

Having read my share of urban fantasy in the past few years I went into Kindling The Moon with an air of “ok, just one more UF to put on my read list”. Instead what I got was something magical and completely original. Jenn Bennett hooked me within the first chapter and I devoured the entire book in less than a day. Which, never ever happens around my house. My kids may have made themselves peanut butter and jelly for dinner because mommy had her nose stuck in a book….again.

The world building that Bennett accomplishes early on, is simply perfection. She’s created a world where humans live blissfully unaware of demons, even marrying them on occasion with no idea of what they are. Demons on earth are pretty low level. They look like humans, talk like humans and may have a knack that they use in their daily life. Mind reading, healing abilities, empathic, even the power of persuasion. If you can think of it, chances are a demon has that ability. For the most part they are low key, they don’t have a lot of power and they stay below the grid. The only thing that makes them known to other demons is a ring of color that floats above their head that humans can’t see. Except Arcadia can because she’s human but also a experienced magician, meaning she can hold her own against the demons that are patrons of her popular bar. Even more strange is that she has her own unique aura ring which is unheard of for a human, but Cady is something more. Conceived during a sexual ritual held at a sacred time, Cady is the Moon Child, though she has no idea what that even means.

Cady is given an ultimatum. Find the truth out about who killed all those occult leaders and pinned it on her parents, or give herself up in their place. Knowing she doesn’t have a lot of time (two weeks to be exact) she turns to a long time friend who gives her the name of an elusive man named Lon who holds books in his collection that may aid her in finding the demon she believes did the killing at the bidding of someone else. He’s much older than her, has a wise cracking teenage son and is a experienced demon in his own right. While they don’t instantly hit it off, they become close over time with Bennett weaving a bond between the three of them that gets tested time and again. My first love is always romance and I found the Bennett gave me the perfect balance between the world she created and the emotional aspect between Lon and Cady that I crave. Where as a lot of UF gives the romance a backseat, almost as an afterthought, Bennett makes it central to the story. Cady is used to being alone, feeling unloved by her parents who quickly sent her away, and lonely because no one knows the real her. So, bringing Lon and his son into the picture gives her a much needed sense of belonging.

This is definitely a book I can recommend not only to urban fantasy readers but also to romance lovers too. There is plenty of action to satisfy and even some humor to break up the tougher scenes. Lon’s teenage son, Jupiter is just so hilariously cute and he rounds out the family so well as Cady integrates into it. This is a book and world you’ll want to revisit again and again!

 

I give Kindling The Moon by Jenn Bennett 4.50 stars!

First Night & Night After Night by Lauren Blakely (Seductive Nights #0.5 and #1)

First Night by Lauren BlakelyAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Free Amazon Download

Reviewer: Nikki

It was only supposed to be one night… 

When the sinfully handsome man walks into her bar in San Francisco, Julia Bell simply wants a break from the troubles that keep chasing her. That escape comes in the form of sexy, confident and commanding Clay Nichols, who captivates her mind AND turns her inside out with pleasure. The attraction is electric and they share one scorchingly hot night together, but they also discover there is more than just off-the-charts chemistry; the connection between them runs deep. Clay never thought he’d return to New York with this woman still on his mind. But he can’t get her out of his system, and he needs more of her…He wants more than just the first night…

 

Night After Night by Lauren BlakelyAvailable: May 18, 2014 Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

“You are being rewarded for turning me on. But we’re doing it my way. You teased the f&*k out of me, and now I want to watch you squirm. Crawl up on my bed and get on your hands and knees.”

Their world was sex, love, and lies.
He intoxicated her. Commanded. Consumed. 
With a dirty mind and a mouth to match, Clay Nichols is everything Julia never knew she wanted and exactly what she cannot have. He walked into her life one night and unlocked pleasure in her that she never knew was possible. Possessing her body, captivating her every thought. Which makes him way too dangerous for Julia to risk her heart, given that she has a price tag on her head. She ran after one mind-blowing week with him, but now he’s back, and determined to make her his own. 
No matter the cost.

She was a sexy drug to him. Fiery, unforgettable, and never enough, Julia is an enigma, and Clay isn’t willing to let her go without a fight. But she’s got dark secrets of her own that threaten to destroy any chance of happiness. She’s a wanted woman – the stakes are high, her every move is watched, and yet the lure between them can’t be denied. Can two people burned by love trust again when desire and passion are met by danger at every turn?

 

First Night Review: There isn’t a whole lot I can say about First Night since it was so short, but knowing I had Night After Night on my review pile when I stumbled upon this free on Amazon I immediately started reading it. It was included in the full length review file I got for Night After Night too so I would assume that means it’ll be included in the finished file as well. First Night starts the character building process by introducing readers to Julia and Clay who are set up to meet at Julia’s bar. Their immediate connection is astoundingly magnetic. I’ll admit, 90% of the 54-ish pages that is First Night is sex…but it’s well wrote, molten sex that made me want to pick up Night After Night as soon as possible. Which I totally did.

I give First Night by Lauren Blakely 3.75 stars! 

Night After Night Review: One night with Clay and Julia has found herself hooked even though she swore it was nothing more than a fun, sex filled excursion. When Clay calls and invites her to New York for the weekend she doesn’t think twice about jet setting across the country on the promise of dinner and some bondage. Her past follows her though and she quickly finds herself having to dance around the truth with a man who despises lies of any kind.

The only thing Clay asks of Julia is honesty. Having her keep things from him doesn’t set well with a man who has been down that road before. Craving her body is one thing but without honesty he’ll have to walk away. Even if it’s the last thing he truly wants to do.

I loved Night After Night even if by the end I was grumbling that book two isn’t set to release for a few more weeks. There is a cliffhanger sort of ending that left me desperately wanting the next installment to find out where these two people go from here. While the prequel focused mostly on the sex and chemistry between Clay and Julia, Night After Night gives more of a look into who they are and what has formed their personalities.

Julia tries her best to separate her growing feelings for Clay from the connection they have between the sheets, but she finds it’s a losing battle. She can’t tell him the truth about what keeps her on a leash back home and she knows that being dishonest with him will have things ending much quicker than she’d like. Having to pay off the debts owed by her ex has Julia using her poker skills in high stakes games held in secret. The man holding the reins threatens everything that matters to Julia so she desperately tries to keep her budding relationship under wraps and her family and friends out of harms way. She wants to tell Clay everything but doesn’t want to make him a target because he’s got the means to pay off her debts and that’s the last thing she wants. She’s very self reliant and asking for help is a foreign concept for her. I really like her character and her ambition to do everything on her own….even if it’s slowly dragging her down.

I wish Clay would have been a bit more understanding about Julia’s secretiveness even if I understood why he wasn’t. His ex had a major pill problem that she constantly lied about but it was obvious that wasn’t Julia’s problem. He’s very black and white and doesn’t give her much a chance to mollify his concerns. Which was surprising since he’s a lawyer. Also surprising was his ability to open himself completely to Julia right from the beginning. He’s an open book to her and his constant smexy talking really amped up the sexual energy.

The sex between these two is combustible, so incredibly hot I think my Kindle was starting to overheat! As an erotic romance, the sex plays a huge part in the plot progression as their kink slowly turns into growing feelings and needs. I loved how dominant Clay was and how he didn’t blink an eye at letting Julia have power over him as well. He’s not a switch but rather incredibly confident in the power he holds over her body…which in turn made this reader smolder over the pages and *maybe* drool just a little.

I can’t wait to find out where these two go from here. As the mobster tightens the leash on Julia and Clay offers her an ultimatum it leaves her with little wiggle room with either of them. How much is she going to be willing to risk in order to keep Clay in her life, maybe permanently?

I’m not one of those bloggers who will freeze your computer screen with mindless gif filled, girly screaming, fan freakouts…but if I was, I’d totally do it for this book. Hot glorious sex mixed with a perfectly paced plot, Night After Night is sure to soar to the top of the charts!

I give Night After Night by Lauren Blakely 4.25 stars! 

The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie (Chance Sisters #2)

The Winter Bride by Anne GracieAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.

When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride. Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?

This is a heartwarming historical romance that is beautifully crafted with interesting characters, tortured souls that need mending and a love that develops quietly between the hero and heroine.

Frederick Monkton-Coombes, otherwise known as Freddy is in a predicament, his best friend Max has asked him to watch over his Aunt Bea and her nieces while he is on his honeymoon with Abby. Abby is the sister of Daisy, Jane and Damaris and Max feels responsible for them. Freddy being a carefree rake is not too happy with the arrangement but he would do anything for his friend.

Damaris Chance is one of the nieces who along with the other three escaped from a brothel and broke into Lady Beatrice’s residence, since then Lady Bea has claimed them as nieces and has taken them under her wing. Damaris has lived almost all her life in China, her parents were missionaries but when her mother died she was left with a disinterested father who did not have much to do with her, she has had a very lonely existence. Her father was killed eight months ago and she finally found her way back to England, however it was a horrifying experience and has scarred her on men forever.

Because Freddy’s mother wants him to marry and is planning an ambush when him with “muffins” at a party in December, he and Damaris plan a fake betrothal; she will get a cottage in the country out of the deal and be able to live her life in peace. While the two visit his parents, Damaris is amazed by how cold and unfeeling they are toward him, it is apparent why Freddy is the way that he is, but during the visit Damaris can only take so much before exploding and telling them off, which promptly makes her feel that she must leave. Unfortunately leaving puts the two in a precarious situation that makes the fake betrothal real.

This is an emotional romance that finds the hero and heroine hurting from pains that run deep, beginning in their childhoods. The two must overcome their pasts to accept the love that will heal them both.

Freddy is a perfect hero, not overly alpha yet oh so likeable. He portrays a devilish rake; but instead of turning the ladies off he has the mothers and daughters fawning over him, believing they can redeem him. He has turned his small inheritance into a fortune with the help of his two friends Max and Flynn as he never wanted to use his parent’s money. He has perfected the mask of indifference and it is so sad when it falls in place while visiting his parents, you can just feel the hurt the must overcome him as they barely look at him, and when he talks about the portrait and his brother, there are big tears. I love how Damaris treats him and reacts when they are together, and oh what a champion she becomes!

Damaris is very quiet, trying to be as insignificant as she possible can; all she wants is to live a simple life where she can paint to support herself. She was treated like a stranger by her father and has always felt the sting, it is interesting that both Freddy and Damaris suffered similar indifferences and have similar views of life. I love how they heal each other and build each other up. The two are wonderful together, the romance comes slowly even though there is the initial attraction between them as they work from allies to friends to lovers, it is so emotional.

Her sisters are fun and engaging as is Max, they add depth to the storyline and I look forward to reading each of their tales. I am very intrigued with Flynn and wonder what his future role will be? I love the ending and how Freddy comes to Damaris rescue and the outcome with his parents; it was a little too perfect, but loved it all the same. This is easily a standalone with characters and situations from the first book that are relevant but the author introduces you to pertinent details without problems. This should definitely be on your reading list if you enjoy emotional historical romances with heart.

 

I give The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie 4.25 stars!

Twisted by Emma Chase (Tangled #2)

Twisted by Emma ChaseAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Gallery

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

There are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who look first, and the ones who leap. I’ve always been more of a looker. Cautious. A planner. That changed after I met Drew Evans. He was so persistent. So sure of himself – and of me.

But not all love stories end happily ever after. Did you think Drew and I were going to ride off into the sunset? Join the club. Now I have to make a choice, the most important of my life. Drew already made his –in fact, he tried to decide for the both of us. But you know that’s just not my style. So I came back to Greenville. Alone. Well, sort of alone….

What I’ve come to realize is that old habits die hard and sometimes you have to go back to where you began, before you can move ahead.

I think the general consensus from readers after finishing this book is this: It’s good but totally not what I was expecting. Which I can say I definitely agree with. There is something that is lost when you turn the tables and read from Kate’s POV that was prevalent in Tangled. I think it’s mainly the comic aspect. Drew was so in your face, so hilariously over the top and full of himself that it made the book stand out in the romance genre as something original. Something fresh. Twisted is a good book, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not really all that funny and it’s filled with enough angst to send a menstruating teenage girl into hysterics. Twisted is one big misunderstanding that’s drawn out into a full length book.

Taking place a few years after Tangled ended, we find that Drew and Kate are still going strong both in their romance and in their careers. They are living in a state of bliss. Drew is still Drew, the over the top, egomaniac that sets Kate’s panties on fire as often as possible. Kate is still the glue that holds Drew together and makes him a better man. All in all, they are the same.

When Kate starts feeling sick I called it right then. She’s pregnant and Drew is going to epically screw something up  because well that’s just him. What follows is something like 200 pages of Drew being a complete ASS and misunderstanding something he sees, which makes him screw up even further by trying to get back at Kate for something he doesn’t understand. Where I once laughed about Drew, I now wanted to rip his big dumb head right off his body. I kept saying, oh Drew, you’re going to be so very sorry. Now, Kate also is to blame for not communicating with Drew further screwing up what they had built. So it wasn’t all Drew…but damn, seriously, you’re adults, TALK. ABOUT. THINGS.

Kate goes back home and reconnects with her family and her ex Billy, who of course is still half in love with her at times. I found I was less invested with this book once Drew disappears for a lot of it in the middle. What I loved most about book one was their back and forth banter and with it missing it just wasn’t as good.

Book three, Tamed is out in July of this year which will feature Matthew and Dee Dee. It goes back to the original time frame and took place alongside events happened in Tangled. I will be back  to see how Evans gets the smart mouthed Dee Dee together with Matthew even if the back and forth time frame is a bit whacked and confusing. Book four, also out this year in the fall goes back to Drew’s POV and I eagerly await the magic that I’m hoping will reemerge with him rightfully back at the helm.

I give Twisted by Emma Chase 3.50 stars!

Flynn’s Kiss by Diane Saxon

Flynn's Kiss by Diane SaxonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Taliesin Publishing

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Flynn’s scars are not just skin deep. Will Liberty’s damaged soul overcome her fear of rejection in order to save him? Severely scarred during a disastrous mission, ex special forces Flynn Swann is home after three years of avoidance. By his own admission, he’s no good with women and the last thing he expects or wants is the attention of a curvy little brunette, who’s just passing through. With apparently no fear or revulsion of his scarred face, the boisterous woman bounds into his life and destroys all hope of a quiet visit. It is obvious to literally everyone that she wants him—all of him.

Worse still, despite her atrocious taste in fashion and Stetsons, she appears to have won the hearts of the entire town. Scientist Liberty Sophia Glennon is on a mission to find a man before she has to return to the loneliness of the New Zealand outback where she has already spent eighteen lonely months doing research. A ticking hormone bomb, Liberty feels time is running away with her. Outwardly she is a bouncing ball of over-confidence, but inside she is still a frightened little girl with horrific memories of her childhood and a desperate need to be liked. Completely unfazed by his external scars, her seduction of Flynn is not so difficult, but follow-through proves painful as Liberty realizes Flynn’s wounds run further than just skin deep. With apparently nothing in common but their passionate attraction, how will these two damaged souls deal with each other’s fear of rejection?

This is a story about healing emotional scars and creating a feeling of belonging for the hero and heroine. A poignant journey for the two as they move beyond past hurts and pain toward a future together.

Flynn is a former Special Forces operative who had the world in his hands and believed he was invincible until someone betrayed his unit causing his capture and subsequent torture. When he returns home to heal he is betrayed again by a woman he thought would stand by him forever. His cousin Mac helped save him when he was at his lowest point, employing him as a bodyguard and stunt coordinator in Hollywood. Now Flynn has returned home yet again while Mac is on his honeymoon, hoping to deal with the scars people can see on his face and the deeper emotional scars that hurt more.

Liberty is a scientist who was recently in New Zealand for eight months, she has come to stay with her friend Kate since she is between jobs, she needs to make some decisions in her life and thought being on a ranch would be a perfect place to think. When Liberty and Flynn meet, the attraction is mutual and immediate, the sparks fly as their encounters are fast and furious, they can’t seem to get enough of each other, but Liberty wants to feel she belongs and craves the intimacy that Flynn is unable to give.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; there are sexy men, strong women and so much emotion that keeps you turning the pages for more. Liberty is so much fun, she does not know a stranger and seems to make friends everywhere she go, people genuinely like her and you can tell she enjoys life. What you can’t tell until you get to know her more is that she wants to belong somewhere, she was an abandoned child and seemed to be a handful while in foster homes so many abandoned her all over again. She enjoys being around her friend Kate and the people of the ranch; it is a place she can feel at home. When she suffers the rejection from Flynn she is hurt until she realizes what the scars she can’t see do to him.

I really like Flynn, he has so much pain inside, not only from the actual episode that the scars resulted from but the betrayal of the one person who he thought would be there, his fiancé. Liberty wants to help him heal but is not sure she is capable of being that person, several in his family tell him he must return to therapy. The two’s attraction is combustible and their scenes together are amazing, they really have great chemistry.

The secondary characters all add to the story and I laughed out loud when all the men keep using the word “magnificent” when they are around Flynn. Kate is a wonderful friend to Liberty, very down to earth and someone who is always there, Liberty needs that stability.

The plot is fast paced as this is not a long story, but it seems to work as Flynn and Liberty’s attraction is immediate so no time is wasted. I had a hard time with his assumptions of Liberty, when he finds out about her job and the PhD she holds he feels angry and duped, but in reality he just needs to remember what happens when we assume. This is the first in the Disarmed and Dangerous series and there seems to be a set up of future books, Flynn leaves at one point in the story to take care of some business for a mysterious man name Dominic, it feels like an overall story arc that will continue. The drama is light but the emotion is deep and intense, a great story about two people healing each other.

I give Flynn’s Kiss by Diane Saxon 4 stars!