Monday, September 1, 2014

Love in a Small Town by Zoe York

Title:  Love in a Small Town
Series:  Pine Harbour #1
Author:  Zoe York
Published:  Aug 26/14 by ZoYo Press
Length:  229pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  ★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Book #1 in the new Pine Harbour series from NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Zoe York.

Six years. Two break ups. One divorce. They should be over each other.

Police officer and army reservist Rafe Minelli knows better than to tell his wife no, particularly since they aren't married anymore. She can’t hightail it out of town, though, not when they’ve finally broken through the post-divorce cold war status quo.

Olivia Minelli needs to leave Pine Harbour. It’s just too hard to see Rafe moving on without her—even if he says he doesn’t want to. But when a new and exciting job falls into her lap, she needs to choose: protect her heart, or take the new job and risk getting emotionally entangled with her ex-husband. Again.

My Review:

This novel is sweet and heartfelt. I was completely enchanted with this look at life in rural Ontario. York tells an intriguing tale that brings together all the best of a new romance, with trying to rebuild what was lost. Her picturesque descriptions bring this small town to life in a very big way. She combines romance with hard fought realities in a manner that brings you directly into this oh-so-real relationship. At the same time the daily lives of the characters play directly into the story’s well thought out plot.

The main characters in this novel were quite amazing. Not only are they well developed in the past and the present, but you can see the evolution of their characters throughout this novel. I loved how her characters wanted to stay who they are. They weren’t willing to sacrifice who they intrinsically see themselves as being for their relationship. At the same time, they were quite willing to compromise, at least a little anyways. The combination of small town gossip with family feuds rounds out the interactions between the cast quite nicely.

My final thoughts? I laughed, I cried, I fell in love. What more can you ask for from a novel?

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The Maiden of Ireland by Susan Wiggs

Title:  The Maiden of Ireland
Author:  Susan Wiggs
Published:  August 26/14 by Mira Books
Length:  448pgs
Format:  ecopy
Genre:  historical romance
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  
★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs sweeps readers away to the misty coast of Ireland in an irresistible tale of falling in love with the enemy...

John Wesley Hawkins was condemned to hang, accused of treason and heresy. As he's transported to the scaffold at Tyburn, however, the Lord Protector steps in and offers him the hand of mercy--if Wesley agrees to travel to Ireland on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Irish resistance against English rule. He'll have to seduce the rebels' secrets from a headstrong Irishwoman, but that shouldn't be a problem for a man of Wesley's reputation....

Caitlin MacBride is mistress of the beleaguered Irish castle Clonmuir, and she makes no secret of her loyalty to her countrymen. She's determined to remain strong for her people, but a wish for true love one evening at sunset yields the one thing that may sway her resolve. When Wesley walks out of the mist that fateful night, Caitlin's faith in the magic of Ireland is briefly restored--until she discovers he's one of the treacherous Englishmen she has spent her life fighting against.

My Review:

This novel is simply poetic. Wiggs has a way with words that will wow you. This novel was a heartfelt journey back in time that has a mythical, enchanting feel to it. The way that the author alludes to things rather than stating them outright makes it all the more magical. At the same time it is one of those stories where you can’t even begin to guess the ending. Each new twist and turn takes you further from the ending you would expect until you’re avidly swallowing each word on the page, racing towards the conclusion. Wiggs’ graphic descriptions make this story vividly real. She combines all of this together to create an exciting and enduring story.

Wiggs’s tale is backed up by some fantastic characters. Parts of this novel give you compassion for these characters as you couldn’t fathom living through what they did. Others make you envious because they experienced the things that dreams are made of.

This novel is a work of art. It is one of those novels that is perfect for any and all who enjoy historical romances.

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Under Cover Of Dark by Juanita Kees

Title:  Under Cover Of Dark
Series:  Tag Raiders #2
Author:  Juanita Kees
Published:  Aug 1/14 by Escape Publishing
Length:  149pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  ★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

New Australian romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts, and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer Gino Bennetti and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’s murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom and her life.

My Review:

Kees has developed a solid storyline that is not only easy to follow, but easy to believe. She brings her characters to the forefront of a such a manner that you really want to help them solve their issues. I found myself trying to draw connections between the various player in the story, attempting to figure out who was doing what. The complex connections were quite stimulating. There were also a few suspenseful moments, making me wonder how it would end.

The cast of characters in this novel is fairly well developed. The male lead definitely made me laugh more than once. He was stuck between a rock & a hard place. It’ was great. The female lead goes from whiny and snivelling to insecure but ready to stand up for herself. The gradual shift throughout the novel, as well as the development into her background made this both believable & fairly easy to swallow. Even if her whining did get on my nerves a couple of times, I understood where she was coming from. I love the fact that although the teen is in trouble, he isn’t just thrown to the dogs or simply protected. The author has steps in place to help him overcome his terrible situation.

As a whole this was an enjoyable novel. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but always heartfelt and quite emotional.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

No Limits by Lori Foster & author Q&A





Before we get started today, let's get to know Lori Foster a bit better!



1. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release, NO LIMITS?

This is Cannon’s story, a character that readers met in my last series, Love Undercover. From the second Cannon showed up on the page, I knew he’d get his own story. He’s that kind of guy, the guy who steps up and takes notice and gets a lot of notice in return.

In NO LIMITS, Cannon reunites with Yvette, another character from the previous series. They parted under strained circumstances, with Cannon just heading into professional MMA and Yvette young and traumatized from a horrific threat. Cannon saved her then, but he was noble because of her age and what she’d been through. Now she’s older, more independent, and he’s ready to make up for lost time.


2. Can you also fill us in on the prequel to the series, HARD KNOCKS?

HARD KNOCKS gives readers a peek into the MMA world and the fighters who will have novels in the Ultimate series. You get to see the inside of Cannon’s gym, the set-up and what the guys do for the neighborhood, as well as the close relationships they share. It’s a short romance featuring Gage and Harper, two fun, strong people with a few romantic quirks to work out. It’s short and sexy and gives readers a taste for how the novels will be more about fighters in a romance than about fighters fighting in the cage.


3. How has your UFC obsession influenced the writing of NO LIMITS?

Well, I’ve gotten into the idea of picking silly fight names for the heroes. And from the fight names, I’ve come up with some “inspired” reasons for them. It also makes it easier to justify the guy being totally ripped – although not all fighters are. I’ve learned in actual fights the physical appearance can be deceiving. It’s more about heart and talent, training and speed, than how a guy looks. But naturally any hero I write about will be blessed with a six-pack and boulder shoulders.


4. What was it like getting inside the mind of a mixed martial arts fighter?

I’ve interviewed a few fighters over the years, chatted with others while getting promotional photos and during before and after “meet and greets” while at live events. Every single fighter I’ve met has been extremely nice, unassuming, dedicated to fans, and (though it sounds silly) very sweet. It took only a few questions to see how much they give to the sport they love, the discipline it takes to stay in training, and the confidence they gain from having extreme ability. Since I’ve never asked a fighter about his love life, that part of the story is pure imagination on my part. But then I only write good guys, and talented lovers.


5. What is your process for choosing names like Cannon Colter?

I’m a terrible cheat when it comes to names. More often than not I see a name on Facebook or Twitter that I like. I never, ever use a first and last name together, but I do pick and choose and mix and match. When I see a unique name, or a name that resonates with me, I grab it up. When I’m writing, I’m far less focused on names than I am on personality. Names for me are an afterthought, so stealing from my social media sites makes it easy.


6. What are Cannon and Yvette’s best physical traits?

Although Cannon is a fighter with a shredded bod, it’s more his smile and his eyes that get to Yvette. He has a very sincere smile, because he’s a very sincere guy. And when he looks at a person, it’s felt through and through.

For Yvette, she has long beautiful hair, but it’s more about the deceptive confidence she tries to exude that draws Cannon – that, and the way she looks at him like he’s a superhero. What guy could resist that?


7. What is the best scene (in your opinion) between Yvette and Cannon?

There’s a fun scene where Yvette is at the rec center (the gym) and the fighters start arguing. Cannon is irked, his buddies are irked, and Yvette thinks they might come to blows. She tries to put herself in the middle and sort of gets sandwiched between some pretty hot flesh. I smiled while writing it, so I hope readers smile when they read it.

The poor guys didn’t know what to think. They’re big, physical guys who don’t mind working out a few differences on the mat, but they’re also friends, and they’re fighters with a load of control often utilized in a fight. But with Yvette, they all want to be gentle – while struggling to figure her out.


8. What music did you listen to while writing NO LIMITS?

I have a long playlist of about 150 songs. Much of it is from KORN and Kid Rock and Marilyn Manson, but I’ve also really gotten into Disturbed, The Pretty Reckless, Papa Roach, Skillet and Puddle of Mud. Oh, and Cage the Elephant. I like loud, strong music that I can sing along with while I’m writing.


9. How is this series different from your previous works?

The Ultimate series is a different setting, different characters, different plots – and yet you still visit some of the characters from Love Undercover series since it remains in the same fictional city and state. In the last series the focus was on Rowdy’s bar and the police station. There are visits to the bar still, but much of the action takes place at Cannon’s rec center and in different houses owned by the characters.

The stories remain super-sexy, the guys remain alphas, the women remain smart and independent, and elements of suspense go throughout both series. But I hope each character has their own personality and for me, that’s where the differences should be most evident.


10. What character did you find yourself most drawn to, and why?

I love Armie Jacobson – and I’m pretty sure readers will too. He’s outrageous, too sexy, has effortless talent in the cage, and a wounded background that has influenced his life greatly. I love all the guys – Gage, Cannon, Denver, Stack... but Armie stands out.


11. Do you prefer writing about small town romance settings (like in NO LIMITS) or city settings?

I’m not sure I’ve ever written a large city setting. Smaller towns, always fictional, work best for me because I like the lack of anonymity in a small town. Everyone knows everyone, or has at least heard of everyone, and it can lead to some touching, and embarrassing, situations. I like the warmth of knowing your neighbors and caring about them. And I like the ease in creating the town.


12. Who would play Cannon and Yvette in a book-to-film adaptation?

Josh Duhamel, while a little too old, would make a fabulous Cannon! He’s big and gorgeous and built. I think he’d be perfect if NO LIMITS was ever made into a movie. For the heroine, Mila Kunis is beautiful and I can easily picture her as Yvette. They’d make a hot couple!


13. What are your five favorite verbs to use during a love scene?

Favorite verbs to use in a love scene... Only five, huh? Wow, that’s difficult. How about catch/caught, press, contract, nuzzle/nibble, lick/suck. I’m not sure I could write a full love scene without them.


14. Can you tell us about the process behind the cover artwork?

Ooooh, I LOVE getting new covers, it’s so exciting. The way it works is that I give my editor an idea of what the characters look like. Usually this means emailing her my own character sheets – notes I keep on the characters to detail (and help me remember) height, eye and hair color, body type, etc... I usually include any and all info like the car he/she drives, job description, age and any other pertinent information that I might need to recall from book to book.

My editor also asks for a synopsis, but since they usually start working on covers long before I know what the story is about, it’s a guessing game on my end. I know there’ll be a hunk, a heroine, some suspense, hot sex, lots of emotion, and a happy ending. The how and why is often not clear to me at that point.

Then the publisher has a meeting with the art department and they brainstorm cover ideas and come up with a concept that I get to see.

The concept is just an idea. It’ll show a model, but not THE model. It’ll show a pose, but not THE pose. I see where the placement of my name and the title will appear, along with any quotes.

Once that’s approved, the art department does a photo shoot and from those images they choose the one they like best. I weigh in with pleas of chest hair. Chest hair is always my #1 requirement if they show the model with his shirt off. To be clear, this is for new novels, not novellas or re-issues. For those they generally use stock art. It’s all very fun and I can honestly say I’ve loved the artwork so far.


15. If you were stranded on a desert island with one of your many characters, who would you choose and why?
Since I’m an enormous wimp and not at all heroic, I’d love to have Trace with me, from Trace of Fever. He’s bossy and take-charge and lethal. He knows what he’s doing, how to protect and how to survive. Plus I think he was pretty sexy.

If it needs to be a character from my current Ultimate series, I’d say Denver – for many of the same reasons. He’s far more autocratic than Cannon or Armie or Stack. He’s big, brawny, and when necessary he can be lethal. I’d feel safer with a real bad ass if I had to be stranded.


16. What was the most difficult part of the process when writing NO LIMITS?

My heart broke for Yvette. She’s one of more damaged heroines I’ve ever written (although there have been a few) and she struggled so hard for her independence. More than anything she wants Cannon, but because he’s so brave and strong she doesn’t feel quite worthy, and the stigma of being seen as a victim really hit her hard. I image something like that would be very, very difficult to overcome.


17. Have you written an outline for the NO LIMITS series or do you make it up as you go?

I totally make it up as I go along. Or I should say my characters make it up. I never try to figure things out in advance because as sure as I do, the characters will have a different idea and they’ll rebel, making it difficult to write until I give them their way. Fighting it is futile. But since they’re seldom wrong, it works for us. (And yes, I’m nuts. I don’t fight that either.)

Usually the characters will give me enough clues along the way to keep the writing flow steady. For instance, while I was writing NO LIMITS, Denver stepped up and talked about Cherry and made it clear his book needed to be next. Now while I’m writing HARD KNOCKS (Denver’s story) Stack is giving me nudges, saying, “Me next, me next. And I’m going after Vanity... whether she or I know it yet or not.” So that’s how I know Stack’s story will be after Denver’s.

Armie has said he wants to wait, stew on things a while, come to grips with his future... so I’m letting him get used to the idea of what is to come.


18. What was your go-to snack while writing NO LIMITS?

Goldfish cheese crackers and pretzels. Occasionally I drink Mountain Dew when I need more caffeine but I usually snack with Lipton Citrus Green Tea as my drink.

I also love baby carrots. And far too often I cave to the call of the Pringles can.


19. What’s your favorite part of the book?

There’s a fight scene in the book. Not a sporting match, but an angry, defensive, you-dared-touch-what-is-mine kind of aggression filled with rage and loss of control and an awakening of strong emotion. Call me barbaric but I love writing scenes like that. I love getting down to the basics of how love can affect a person, whether it’s in sex or fighting off danger or just showing vulnerability awareness. It’s the real stuff people are made of.


20. What are you working on next?

I’m writing Denver’s story right now, titled HOLDING STRONG. It’s due out in spring 2015 and I’m loving Denver and Cherry together – and them as a couple with the rest of the fighters around. It’s a very fun dynamic.

After that I’ll do another benefit novella for June 2015. It’ll be part of the Buckhorn family and all proceeds from sales of the book will go to a charity. I’m not yet sure which of the Buckhorn clan will be featured, but I’m sure it’ll all come to me in plenty of time.

And then I’ll jump into Stack’s story. He should be ready by then – which means I’ll also be ready. Luckily the characters keep me writing. In fact, if there were more hours in the day, I’m not sure they’d ever let me stop!


Title:  No Limits
Series:  Ultimate #1
Author:  Lori Foster
Published:  August 26/14 by Harlequin HQN
Length:  432pgs
Format:   paperback
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★★★

Blurb:

A surprise inheritance reunites a mixed martial arts fighter with the woman he's never forgotten in the first in a smoldering new series from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster…

Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He's also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she's older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon.

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather's legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette's scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he'll break all the rules to do it…

Excerpt:  

Cannon couldn’t stop looking at her. Damn, he’d remembered her as pretty, but she’d matured into killer good looks—and didn’t seem to know it. An angel’s face paired with that trim but curvy figure, and yeah, he was pretty sure every guy in the place had already started fantasizing.

Too bad, because none of them would touch her.

If he’d had any doubts about wanting her, they were put to rest in a big way. Instead of three years, it felt like a decade he’d been waiting on her. Yes, he wanted her. He would have her, too.

The only question was how soon.

A few weeks ago she’d lost her grandfather, and she probably needed time to acclimate to being home around the unpleasant memories. He’d love to segue right from hello to hell yeah, but he also enjoyed just looking at her and talking with her.

Sipping her Coke, Yvette stole a peek at him. Feathery lashes framed those big green eyes he remembered so well—eyes that used to watch him with innocent infatuation, but now seemed wary. She sat straight, proper. Spoke carefully. Avoided his direct gaze.

As Tipton had said, she was guarded.

She wore makeup, but not a lot. Even in a ponytail, her long dark hair made him think of it spilled loose on his pillows, or gliding over his chest.

Or his thighs.

And her clothes, while casual, covered such a sweet body it left him visually undressing her.

Repeatedly.

Knowing he had to get a grip, he asked, “Are you hungry?”

She shook her head. “But please go ahead and eat if you want.”

“I’m good.” Arms folded on the top of the booth, he smiled. “I can’t get over how much you’ve changed.”

That pleased her, he could tell. “It’s been almost three and a half years.”

Long enough for her to put the past behind her? To put him behind her? No, he wouldn’t let her. “I’m so damn sorry about Tipton.”

“Thank you.” She set the drink aside, then nervously drew her finger through the damp ring the glass had left on the booth top. “I wanted to talk to you about that. About—”

“Hey, Saint.” Two guys sidled up to the table. “Can we get a pic?”

Cannon forced his gaze away from Yvette. “Sure.” He would never alienate a fan, but damn, the timing could be better. Yvette had been screwing up her courage to say something. Now he had to wonder what.

Stepping out of the booth, he bent a little to put himself more in line with the shorter guys, and with a double thumbs-up, smiled as a plump lady used her cell phone to snap a few photos.

That only seemed to unleash other fans, and before he knew it, he was posing with men and women alike. Some wanted to hug him, some wanted him in a fighter’s stance, a few just wanted him to mug for the camera. Before he could get a handle on things, he’d taken around twenty photos and signed more than a dozen autographs.

Yvette watched it all with a look of fascinated indulgence. When there seemed to be a lull, he reseated himself. “Sorry about that.”

“You’re popular, I understand.” Her long glossy ponytail spilled over her shoulder when she tipped her head to study him. “I watch the fights.”

That pleased him more than it should have. “Yeah? What do you think?”

“You’re pretty amazing.”

He held back his grin. “I do my best.”

That earned a short laugh. “Humble too.” Shaking her head, she teased, “No wonder they call you the Saint.”

He’d rarely heard her laugh before, and hearing it now did funny things to him. It was nice. Rich. Husky.

A turn-on…

My Review:

I am absolutely loving Foster’s new series. This novel is emotionally and psychologically intense. It’s also fun, exciting, and suspenseful. I found myself at the edge of my seat, needing to know what would happen next. Foster brings forward some very difficult and potentially disturbing subjects in a realistic yet tactful manner. She creates a bridge between them and her readers, allowing us to understand and empathize. This is all wrapped up in a hot and steamy package that will have you drooling.

Foster has me in the palm of her hands with her MMA men. She piques your interest with a bunch of intense Alpha type men who can definitely hold their own. She develops her main characters in such a way that you can’t help but love them. You get to know them in both the past and the present, allowing you to fully understand all aspects of their relationship. You also get to know them individually, and come to love them. The supporting cast was also very well done. I love how you get to know them without having them overshadow the main characters, but still seeing where they may reappear in the future. Also, the cameos of characters from past series definitely put a smile on my face.

This novel is definitely going in my re-read pile. My copy will be very well worn in short order. I can’t wait to see more of Cannon and his MMA pals.

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Seducing Lauren by Kristen Proby

Title:  Seducing Lauren
Series:  Love Under The Big Sky #2
Author:  Kristen Proby
Published:  Aug 19/14 by Pocket Books
Length:  384pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the second book in the Love Under the Big Sky series from this USA TODAY bestselling author of the With Me in Seattle series, life in Montana gets spicy when a woman and her divorce lawyer sign off the papers—and sign on to love.

Now that his best friend, Josh, has happily settled down with his true love on a Montana ranch, small-town lawyer Ty Sullivan starts thinking that maybe single life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And when Lauren Cunningham’s no-good ex-husband comes after her for an unexpected trust fund, Ty steps in to protect her. But soon he can’t help but think of her as more than a client. Lauren’s in no mood to jump into another relationship, so how can Ty convince her that her mistake wasn’t getting married, but marrying the wrong guy?

My Review:

This novel was delightfully well written. Proby combines the stereotypical elements of the genre with a great deal that is all her own. Reading about an author hearing about her own work was absolutely priceless. Proby also tackles some very hard hitting aspects of life in a very dramatic way, while all the while making it real for the reader. The fact that this story is so realistic and raw makes it all the more attractive.

This is such a personal story. You really get the nitty-gritty on the characters. I thoroughly appreciated how Proby went about flipping perspectives between the two main characters. She gives you an insight into both of their lives, both past and present. You also find out how they feel about the events that they’re living. At the same time, she doesn’t jump back and recap the same events over and over again. The story continues to progress forward, never looking back.

As a whole, this was a fast paced read that captured my heart and my attention. I will definitely be reading the next novel in the series.

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Dying Commitment by S.M. Butler

Title:  Dying Commitment
Series:  Lucky Thirteen #3
Author:  S.M. Butler
Published:  August 12/14 by Soaring Phoenix Press
Length:  250pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  romantic suspense
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  ★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Five years ago, former NSA agent Cadence Long almost died from her mentor’s bullet. She learned one valuable lesson that day: Trust no one. That’s why her casual friendship with Dylan works so well. They both agree that a romantic relationship is off the table, but when he starts flashing that dazzling smile and those twin dimples at her, the sizzling attraction between them becomes impossible for her to resist.

Navy SEAL Dylan Urban is ready for more than a romp in the sheets with Cadence, but convincing her proves a more difficult mission than he’s prepared for. After she runs off on an unsanctioned, one-woman kamikaze mission, the only way he can see to protect Cadence is to get her open up and trust him, but it might mean losing his heart in the process.

While on the trail of one of the most notorious traitors in recent history, both Dylan and Cadence must decide if what they have or could have is worth giving up the chase, or if for once, they might have to trust another to break down the walls they so carefully crafted.

This New Adult title contains adult situations and language and may not be suitable to those under the age of 18.

My Review:

Butler has created a novel that deals a lot with the emotional and psychological trauma that her characters face because of their chosen profession.  She melds excitement and suspense, along with life altering circumstances to create a story that will really make you think. 

By flipping between the two main characters’ perspectives Butler really highlights the differences between the characters.  She also lets you see the difference between what they’re thinking, feeling, and actually showing the world around them.  Butler develops a solid background for the female lead which was the basis for the story as a whole.  I did find that the female lead gets a little whiny at times.  The ‘oh poor me’ act was a bit much after a while but her trust issues were completely understandable.  The male lead didn’t exist before this story started.  He just kind of appeared on the first page and developed from there.  Of course, this isn’t the first novel in the series and the author assumes that readers already know her characters walking into this one.  There’s a huge hole in the ‘Jack’ story.  Hopefully it’ll get clarified in the next novel in the series.  At this point all we know is that there’s more to this story that was started and left hanging.

All in all, this was an enjoyable and exciting read.  The author takes you across the world alongside her characters in a very unique manner.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Not Quite A Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Not Quite A Wife
Series:  Lost Lords #6
Author:  Mary Jo Putney
Published:  Aug 26/14 by Kensington Zebra
Length:  352pgs
Format:   ecopy
Genre:  historical romance
Shelf:  netgalley
Rating:  ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads

Marry in haste, repent at leisure. James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent. . .except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.

Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl--until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.

Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love. . ..

My Review:

This was a rather enchanting tale. Putney developed her unique and well put together storyline in a captivating manner. Readers are drawn to both the romance and the suspense of this novel. She paints a brilliant picture of London and Bristol in the 1800s, transporting readers back to that time.

Putney’s early character development is admirable. She brings them to life in a natural yet complete manner that allows you to really know them. The mix of past and present in the story also allows Putney to develop them in a very open fashion. I appreciated seeing the main characters take ownership for their actions. It was refreshing to see individuals admit where they’d failed, while attempting to be a better person. The supporting cast was also admirable. I quite the way that they brought the whole story together into the picture of complete lives, rather than simply a snapshot of a relationship.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was my first foray into Putney’s work but won’t be my last. I also appreciated the fact that it can be read as a standalone, even though it is well into the series.

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