Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hard Ride to Dry Gulch by Joanna Wayne

Title:  Hard Ride to Dry Gulch
Series:  Big D Dads:  The Daltons #3
Author:  Joanna Wayne
Published:  July 1/14 by Mills & Boon Intrigue
Length:  240pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  
★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A dedicated Detective risks his life to save a woman and her son in this spellbinding Big "D" Dads: The Daltons novel by Joanna Wayne.

A haunting beauty with mesmerizing brown eyes is in desperate need of Dallas homicide detective Travis Dalton's help. Faith Ashburn's troubled teenage son is missing…and may be hiding secrets that could get him—and his mother—killed.

Faith will do whatever it takes to find her boy, even if it means turning to the rugged detective, a man shadowed by his own painful past. When the search reveals a shocking connection to the dangerous criminal Travis has sworn to bring down, Faith has to trust him with her life. And when passion flares, she has to trust him with something she vowed never again to give: her heart.

My Review:

Wayne presents her audience with a well written novel with an artfully developed story. This story is not simply suspenseful, but dramatic as well. Wayne balances the story so that it seems not only possible but painfully real. I really appreciated the variety of ways in which the story was developed, and the fact that there were so many aspects to the story. She takes a very raw and real look at the relationship between mother and son, especially when outside forces have a hand in it.

I appreciated the glimpses into the pasts of both the main characters. It gives you insight as to why they approach events in a certain manner. Also, the fact that they are dealing with more than just the focus of the investigation at hand makes them seem so much more real. Present reality and their personal histories impinge on all aspects of this story. Honestly, my pet peeve with this novel is the female lead’s view of her son. She refuses to see her son as an individual able to function on his own, even at the age of 18, and routinely talks about him as if he were 5. I really found myself running hot and cold with the female lead. There were times when I loved her and other times when I found her to be quite obtuse. The steadfastness of the male lead’s character really balanced this out, as did the subject of the storyline.

As a whole this was an intensely riveting and suspenseful novel. It’s a brilliant read for all lovers of romantic suspense.

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Cover Reveal ~ Gatekeeper's Promise by Eva Pohler





It's time for the big reveal!

It's time to reveal the cover for the final book in Eva Pohler's six-book young adult series, The Gatekeeper's Saga! For those of you who haven't heard of this series, it's about a teen whose life becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them falls in love with her. You can try out the first book, The Gatekeeper's Sons, free! Find your favorite retailer here.

The cover of The Gatekeeper's Promise (#6) has been revealed piece by piece over the past few weeks.  And now, here it is, the full cover:




Many thanks to Melinda VanLone of Book Cover Corner for her amazing talent. Thanks to those of you who entered the rafflecopter giveaway and the Facebook Event. All winners were announced by midnight on July 30th on the event page here.

The Gatekeeper's Promise is already available for preorder here and will be released on October 1st at all retailers. If you'd like to receive a discount code for the preorder, please subscribe to The Pohler Express here.


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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Naked Truth by Tami Lund

Title:  Naked Truth
Author:  Tami Lund
Published:  June 30/14 by Crimson Romance
Length:  178pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
Rating:  
★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jack is an FBI agent, a playboy, a man who is happy tasting the flavor of the month and not staying for breakfast. He’s perfectly content with his life and has no interest in finding his happily ever after. So when he is attracted to Kennedy at his partner’s wedding, he naturally takes the opportunity to seduce her. Now it’s time to focus on the next good-looking woman who comes along, right?

Ah, you don’t always get what you expect.

Kennedy was burned by her ex-husband—badly. She told everyone he cheated on her, because the truth—that he stole all of her money before disappearing out of her life—is far more embarrassing. For the last three years she’s struggled to pay off her debt, ignoring her libido and refusing to consider allowing another man to get close.

A one-night stand with Jack is the perfect way to break her sexual fast—until she discovers that he’s pouring her morning coffee and frying bacon.

While Jack goes undercover at a male strip club, the two begin an affair that distracts him from his job and puts their hearts—and Kennedy’s life—in danger. Now there’s only one way Jack can stop this killer, and it involves making that declaration they both swore they didn’t want.

My Review:

Lund had me right from the very first chapter. I was thoroughly captivated by this multifaceted story. And did Lund ever make me laugh. Some of the story twists caught me so off guard there was just no other option. This novel is suspenseful in a very fun-loving way. You are always on edge, wanting to know how the story will end, wondering who did it, but at the same time, it’s not the stuff that nightmares are made of. This novel is definitely well written and edited. Lund’s one-of-a-kind writing drew me to her work and kept me entranced throughout.

I loved the interactions between the characters in this novel. Not only do you get to know their personalities, but Lund makes it very easy to picture their physical person with her vivid descriptions. The main characters are intriguing. Watching them dance around each other was singularly captivating. I was also completely shocked by the antagonist. It was completely priceless.

Overall, this was a unique romantic suspense with a good dose of comedy. It was a great introduction to Lund’s work, and has definitely sparked me to read more.

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My Kind of Crazy by Katie O'Sullivan

Title:  My Kind Of Crazy
Author:  Katie O'Sullivan
Published:  Mar 25/14
Length:  239pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  contemporary review
Shelf:  review
Rating:  
★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kendall Roarke is betting everything on making her Harwichport Bed & Breakfast into the premier wedding destination on Cape Cod, despite her recent messy divorce.

Jonathan Reynolds moved back to the Cape to take over his uncle's business and start fresh after his own marriage ended. He's not looking for anything complicated - until he meets Kendall, with her big plans and wild mop of curls.

Throw an unruly foster puppy and an uptight new neighbor into the mix and things get a little crazy. Now Kendall has to decide if it's the kind of crazy that she can live with... for the rest of her life.

My Review:

O’Sullivan takes Cape Cod by storm with her latest romance. This coastal town comes to life at the tip of her pen. She tackles the issues that individuals deal with every day and wraps them up in a heartfelt, sometimes comical HEA package. Even with the HEA, there is realism that runs throughout. I found myself firmly grounded in the here and now throughout, rather than stuck in a fairy tale.

I appreciate the gradual character development that O’Sullivan uses in this work. I felt like I was getting to know real people rather than simply characters in a novel. I love how boisterous & in your face some of these characters are. It’s brilliant to see these types of individuals make their way into work, even as secondary characters. At times I really felt like I’d stepped into my hometown, with the variety of individuals that I met throughout this novel.

As a whole this was a well written, intriguing novel that definitely made me smile. I’d recommend it to those looking for a sweet, heartfelt romance.

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Forbidden Kiss by Shannon Leigh

Title:  Forbidden Kiss
Author:  Shannon Leigh
Published:  July 28/14 by Entangled: Covet
Length:  243pgs
Format:  ecopy
Genre:  contemporary romantic suspense
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  
★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jule Casale is the perfect daughter. Obedient. Trustworthy. Loyal. With her high profile Italian family, her public image must be impeccable. And now to gain the respect and position she's desired in the academic world, she hopes to discover the unknown artist behind a masterpiece of Renaissance art.

Rom Montgomery seeks the unobtainable: forgiveness. Those who could grant him relief are dead. Instead, he wanders across continents and through time searching for salvation and the means to right an ancient wrong. But when Jule comes knocking on his door, it's the closest he's ever come to finally finding redemption. The closer Rom draws to correcting his past mistakes, the more his secrets threaten to destroy the woman who might hold the key to his future.

My Review:

Leigh’s writing style held me completely captivated throughout. It was completely unique yet down to earth, and so well-crafted that I couldn’t turn away. The history, of weaponry, lives, and places, captured my imagination and kept me riveted. I appreciated the realism and research behind this work. The mix of old world and new adds an extra element to the tale that allows the reader to feel a connection to the work.

The complex characters that Leigh presents to her readers are breathtaking. I was completely enchanted by them and felt like I really knew them. Through her characters Leigh makes the notion of reincarnation astoundingly palatable and easy to believe. There is a sense of wonder accompanying it throughout.

As a whole this was a wonderfully unique read that I would recommend to all lovers of romance, and of Shakespeare.

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Roadtrip to Redemption by Laurie Larsen

Title:  Roadtrip to Redemption
Series:  Pawley's Island Paradise #1
Author:  Laurie Larsen
Published:  April 26/14 by Random Moon Books
Length:  232pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating:  
★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It started as a trip to lose old memories. It became a journey to find her heart.

Leslie Malone faces an empty, lonely summer. Her marriage is over. Her daughter is overseas, living her dream. Her students are enjoying a carefree summer break. What's the purpose of her life if she's not a wife, mother and teacher? The idea of a roadtrip beckons her. Aimless wandering? Or inspired discovery? A woman of faith, she asks God for His guidance, then does her best to follow His direction.

Hank Harrison is a quiet man, good with his hands, but short on words. He's paid a heavy price for not forgiving his son for horrible mistakes made years ago, mistakes with vast consequences. Hank recognizes Leslie as an answer to his prayers, and together, they begin to mend their futures.

Neither of them plans to fall in love. Will the worst summer of Leslie's life become the season that redeems them both?

My Review:

Larsen has a very approachable and flowing writing style that not only complements the storyline but also makes you feel like you’re part of it. She draws on your emotions, allowing you to feel for the characters. I found it easy to picture myself in the main character’s shoes. I was quite impressed with the way that Larsen works religious undertones into this novel. Being one who isn’t generally a fan of inspirational/religion based romance novels, I have to say Larsen takes a brilliant approach. Although she makes it obvious that God’s will works its way through this novel, Larsen never preaches at her audience. It’s a brilliant balance.

The characters in this novel are quite well developed. The main character is such a real person that you cannot help but connect with her. Her strength is admirable, yet the vulnerability makes her human. The supporting cast is also quite well put together. I appreciate how everyone complements each other, without being duplicate or unnecessary characters. Not everyone serves a major role in this novel, but they all definitely serve a purpose.

This is an intricately woven tale that will take you on the journey of a lifetime. Disillusionment, self-acceptance, and romance all make their way into the mix for one intimate journey.

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Hostile Ground by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Title:  Hostile Ground
Author: L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
Published:  May 12/14 by Riptide Publishing
Length:  300pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  m/m romantic suspense
Shelf:  Netgalley
Rating:  
★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club's security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave. To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires-including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he's a cop-and before they both grow too close to betray one another.

As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there's much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.

My Review:

The descriptions and tone of this novel are so vivid that you not only picture it all, but feel like you’re right there. The combination of police undercover work with familial obligations creates a breathtaking and solidly captivating novel that you won’t be able to put down. Religion, duty, and self-worth all make an appearance throughout. The authors meld suspense with mayhem while showing how romance can crop up at any time. They tell a tale that I found myself fully invested in. I always needed to know what would happen next and how it would end, but I never actually wanted the tale to end.

The multifaceted character development throughout allows readers to really get to know the characters. These authors make sure you are introduced to them both inside and outside of their work place. Seeing the fine line that the main characters walk, morally, religiously, and ethically, draws you closer to them. I found myself rooting for them, and at the same time, wanting to get to know them better. The antagonists in this novel really highlight both the plight of the main characters as well as commenting on the current state of society, the tings many of us try to ignore.

I’m normally not a fan of multi-author works, but these two work together so seamlessly that you can’t help but get caught up in the breathlessness of it all. This novel is definitely a must read for those who enjoy the genre.

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