Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For Love and HonorFor Love and Honor by Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, Candis Terry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a collection of three stories about military men and those that love them. Cathy Maxwell writes about an English captain fighting in Regency England and the woman that captures his heart while transporting her back to England. Lynne Hinton's story takes place in Pie Town, the small town that is featured in her Pie Town series. A hometown boy is in a hospital in Germany recovering from injuries and the town that supports him. And Candis Terry’s story about a solder coming home for good and those that will not let him forget how much he is loved.

The Bookish Miss Nelson by Cathy Maxwell

Captain William Duroy is commanded to escort Miss Pippa Nelson to Lisbon and then back to England. She usually follows her father wherever he goes acting as his hostess, however he recently left her at Wellington's headquarters as he went on a mission without instructions as to how long or what to do with her. So the general is making a decision, he does not want her there anymore and is punishing the captain by making him escort her.

Pippa is a headstrong young woman and has been following her father around for years, therefore does not like being pushed around. She is unhappy with the situation and let's everyone know how she feels. While traveling, Pippa makes a decision that puts her and William in danger. While trying to get back to safety, they end up doing something heroic and then fall in love. A smart, fun story of finding love in the most unusual places.

Letters from Pie Town by Lynne Hinton

Raymond Twinhorse is a lifelong citizen of Pie Town who was recently injured and is now in a hospital in Germany. The town sends out an announcement saying they want to mail a get well parcel to him and ask if everyone would write a letter to Raymond to say how much he is loved. His girlfriend Trina is in charge of the project.

The letters are so heartwarming, full of love and humor as citizens of Pie Town write about what is going on in the small town and how much Raymond means to them. This story let's those fans of Lynne's series Pie Town, revisit some great characters.

Home Sweet Home by Candis Terry

Candis has dedicated this story to the men and women of the Idaho Army National Guard at Gowen Field and Mountain Home Air Force Base. As my son is a member of the Army National Guard this is a wonderful tribute.

Aiden Marshall has come home for good. He left with two other friends (Billy Marks and Bobby Hansen) several years ago to become Rangers, however he is the only one coming home and is having trouble dealing with the loss and deciding what he wants to do. Paige Walker, a hometown girl that works at the diner and has recently purchased her aunt's place with plans for the future is waiting for him, as Aiden is the person she has in mind to share that future with.

As soon as Aiden walks into the diner, Paige is ecstatic, however she realizes he has changed, he has lost his smile. Aiden is unsure of what he wants to do, but he feels he is not good enough for Paige and has come home to tell her goodbye. After a heartfelt conversation in which he tells her all about his life in the service, she finds out about his dog Rennie that he had to leave behind. As Aiden hides out at the family ranch helping his brother and avoiding Paige, she decides that she wants to show him how much the town loves him and how much she wants to fight for him. In a small town, it does not take much for news to travel as she asks for donations to help bring Rennie home. This is a moving story about a woman who does not give up and the love she has for Aiden that helps him heal.

All three stories were wonderful moving tributes to those that are serving and have served in the service to protect our freedom. The love they all receive from friends and family is warm and genuine.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lethal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #3)Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lethal Rider is the third book in the Lords of Deliverance series, a wonderful and exciting series about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After the thrilling conclusion of Immortal Rider book we find Thanatos who has been paralyzed for eight months and Regan in hiding and about ready to give birth to a child that can either start or stop the Apocalypse.

Thanatos is being held against his will, he knows someone comes in to change the feeding tube and turn the TV on and he knows that Limos and Ares said it would only be a few more weeks and they will release him. What he does not know is why and he is getting angrier by the minute. When his sister and brother leave him, Thanatos realizes that he can move his fingers and toes, and he is not waiting around for anyone to inject him with another round of Hellhound saliva. Using all his willpower he gets up and is immediately drawn to both death and danger, he visits death first in Australia and realizes his brother Reseph/Pestilence is causing havoc all around the world. He then follows his danger feeling as it takes him to Regan, not knowing why he is being pulled toward her until he finds out about his child and that he needs to save and protect them both.

Regan is feeling very guilty and regrets her actions of forcing Thanatos. She gains comfort from the parchment of a tiny book penned by an angel. As she is waits for her baby to be born, thinking she is safe, vampires enter the compound to both kidnap and kill her, which is when Thanatos arrives and takes her back to his place to keep her safe with him until the child is born.

The world is in a panic as the Horseman’s brother Reseph/Pestilence is gaining power and causing destruction everywhere. The Horsemen are split when it comes to killing Reseph/Pestilence, Thanatos believes they can repair his Seal however others do not and want to kill him. As they wait for the baby, Regan and Thanatos spend time together, she rearranges his home as her OCD goes into overdrive, he finds himself dealing with both the Daywalker and Nightwalker vampires he surrounds himself with. He has brought all the Daywalker vampires of the world to live and work for him and there seems to be some traitors in the house.

As Thanatos and Regan fight danger from his vampires and the ever emerging Pestilence, other things are happening around the world that are affecting the turn of events. The angel’s Reaver, Harvester and Gethel have several conflicts, a connection between Thanatos and all vampires comes to light and the Aegis seem to be taking sides leaving those with close ties feeling helpless to stop the split.

The ride to the finish of this book is thrilling and full of twist and turns you will not expect. This is a wonderful book and the story leads well into the last book as we wait to see what will happen with Reaver, Harvester, Reseph/Pestilence and all those that visit again from the Demonica series that have a part in the continued story in this world.
ARC from NetGalley

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Friday, May 18, 2012

About Last Night: A Loveswept Contemporary RomanceAbout Last Night: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance by Ruthie Knox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cath Talarico is working on a new and improved Cath. It has been two years and so far she is doing a good job of living her life without mistakes. Living in London working at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V and A) she is involved with a hand knitting exhibit coming up. She has been trying to get a knitted straight jacket from a colleague, Amanda, without much luck, thinking it would be an interesting addition to the show. Cath has been taking the same train for some time and has been watching the habits of the regulars. She can predict with good accuracy who will come up the stairs and what they will be doing, she even has named several of them. There is Pidgeon Man, Emo boy, Bus purse and City to name a few. While trying to get Amanda to loan her the garment, Cath decides to try some manipulation and bets Amanda on the arrival of some of the characters around the train station, she is hoping the regulars are truly regular today. As she successfully names those that walk up the stairway Cath thinks she has won, however, Amanda wants a favor out of Cath before she agrees. She wants Cath to go on a blind date with her boyfriend's cousin.

As the date progresses to beyond boring she tries to feel better and has too many wines. To top it off her "date" buys one more drink called a K-12 that sends her over the edge. The next morning she wakes up in a strange room by herself and berates herself over and over for breaking her rules of New Cath, one that does not have drunk nights and memory losses. She pieces the evening together and finally remembers coming across City at the train station and realizes she must be in City's flat. She is relived to say the least because of all the times she has watched City at the train station she knows he is a good person.

Nev (City) is everything Cath thinks he is, a banker who went to good schools and comes from a wealthy family. What she does not know that that he is an artist at heart and hates living this life with his perfect brother who looks down on him and his interfering mother. Cath and Nev embark on a unusual relationship, one of no questions and no promises. This works for Cath who does not want any commitments and harbors many secrets and mistakes she wears as reminders on her body.

I loved this book, the characters were fun and believable and I got the chemistry between Cath and Nev right away. City (Nev) is a wonderful hero to Cath as they struggle to find their place in the world. They both know that they are perfect for each other but must get over the past and move forward and trust each other. It was an emotional ride all the way to the end and I cried and laughed until the conclusion.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The WranglerThe Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Val Hunter has come home to Wyoming. Not that she wanted to, but her grandmother asked for her help and she would do anything her grandmother asks of her. Gus (Augusta Hunter) is a small dynamo that has had a hard time keeping the ranch going since a hip injury. As much as Val hates the Bar H Ranch, she took a hardship discharge from the Air Force to come home. Gus hopes that they will begin to create good memories to overshadow the bad as they work together to save the ranch.

Gus saved Val's life years ago. Val's father was an abusive drunk who beat up on both Val and her mother Cheryl. Cheryl never pressed charges against him, even after sending Cheryl to the hospital in serious condition, therefore her father (Buck) never served time. That was when Gus stepped in, sold her ranch near Cheyenne after her husband died and came home to stay. Buck was afraid of Gus so after Gus moved in Buck never touched either Val or her mother.

Val left home at age eighteen for college and then joined the Air Force, she has been an intelligence officer working in drug enforcement for the last several years. Buck died of a heart attack and the running of the ranch landed on Cheryl who did a poor job. She was never a partner in the ranch, Buck did it all and never shared any of the business responsibilities with her and Cheryl was not a good judge of character so picked wranglers that stole from her and did not work. Therefore the ranch is in trouble and Val needs to hire a wrangler that will work and manager the ranch, someone they can trust. Val visits Andy's Horse Emporium to talk to Andy about a man he recommends for the wrangler position. Val is a little leery because this man grew up in New York and has never been a wrangler before, but she will let Gus make the final decision.

Griff McPherson has also come home. Although he left when he was six, Wyoming still feels like home to him. At age six Griff and his twin brother Slade lost their parents in a car accident and were split between uncles growing up. Griff ended up being a Wall Street banker until the crash and he lost everything. Coming home to the family ranch where Slade worked was the only thing he had left but it was the best thing he could ever do. He stayed with his brother for awhile but there is some unfinished business between them and they need some healing away from each other before they can be the family they should be.

Griff convinces both Val and Gus to take a chance on him for their wrangler position, he moves in the ranch house and finally he feels at home. Gus likes him instantly however Val is wary and does not trust easily so she is distant until he works his way into her heart.

This is a wonderful story of healing, love, trust and coming home. I loved the interaction between Gus, Val and Griff. They were believable and convincing as people who have a lot to overcome before they can move on. There are several obstacles in the way, Griff is helping the FBI with a drug cartel they believe is doing business in their little community, Griff and his brother need to mend their conflict and Val needs to overcome her fear of men and commitment. A compelling read all the way until the end with an opening for the next book to continue with several of the characters. I am looking forward to more.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Lucky in Love (Lucky Harbor, #4)Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fourth in the Lucky Harbor series, a great addition to a wonderful series.

Ty Garrison is in hiding. Not from anyone in particular but basically from life. He is recuperating from reinjuring his leg and he cannot go back to work until a doctor signs off. Ty feels that he lost everything several years ago in a plane crash when everyone died but him. He was a medic while with the Navy SEALS and could not save his friends, so has stayed to himself since, not making new friends or putting down roots anywhere. He needed a place to recuperate and a colleague from basic training, Matt, found him a place to stay in Lucky Harbor until the local doctor (Josh) signs off and clears Ty to work again. Ty is still in special ops but is now working for a private contractor to the government, it can be just as physically demanding and dangerous as before therefore the doctor wants him totally healed before agreeing he can go back.

Mallory has grown up in Lucky Harbor and has always been the good girl that takes care of everyone. Including her family, the neighbors and anyone else that comes along. When Mallory was sixteen, her older sister Karen took an overdose of pills on purpose and Mallory has blamed herself ever since. Mallory was the last one to see her and feels she should have known Karen was saying goodbye when she gave her a necklace and told her to be the good one in the family.

During a vicious thunderstorm fate takes hold of both Mallory and Ty and changes their lives forever. Mallory was at the Eat Me Cafe to pick up a birthday cake for her brother and decided to wait out the storm. The only other two people inside the Cafe are Amy a waitress who has not lived in town long, just waiting to decide what to do next and a new women with blond hair that Mallory had not met yet. Turns out her name is Grace and she was just stopping by on her way to find work after a job offer in Seattle turned ugly, she had a coupon for the B&B in Lucky Harbor so here she is. While sitting in the cafe talking, several trees crash into the windows and the three huddle behind the counter to fend off the snow and wind now blowing into the cafe. While deciding what to do about their current situation, they hear a moan outside, Mallory being the person she is goes to find out who is in trouble . So the three end up helping Ty by getting him warm in Mallory's car and calling the paramedics. While sitting and waiting in the car, Amy tells Ty he owes Mallory a date and the upcoming benefit auction was a great way to pay her back for saving his life.

The town of Lucky Harbor is full of characters that all small towns should have, funny, interfering and full of warmth. A Lucky Harbor Facebook page gets updated with the latest gossip and is hilarious, the fact that the town knows that Mallory has a date with Mysterious Cute Guy ( Facebook has been updated with sightings of him for the last 6 months)is so much fun. So when Ty shows up at the auction unaware he was supposed to be Mallory's date (because he was out of it and does not remember) he surprises her by going along with the ruse therefore not embarrassing her. They share an extremely hot few hours together with Mallory promising she is OK with just one night and that he is her "walk on the wild side". This suits Ty perfectly as he does not want any commitment, as soon as his leg heals he is out of Lucky Harbor and back to work.

This series is so good. I love the town and the characters. The story is a wonderful journey for both Ty and Mallory as they both learn that their rolls in life can change and grow still keeping their real selves.

I love the interaction with Facebook, the updates are classic. The story is wonderful and I laughed and cried while following Ty and Mallory on their discovery. We do not see much of the main characters from the first three books, these next three stories are intertwined with Mallory, Amy and Grace. I can't wait for more.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

A Little Harmless FascinationA Little Harmless Fascination by Melissa Schroeder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Little Harmless Fascination is wonderful addition to this great series.

Conner Dillon and Jillian Sawyer have known each other for several years. Jillian's best friend Maura is Conner's sister and they were roommates in college. All Maura's friends had little crushes on Conner, including Jillian, they use to talk about what it would be like to be with him.

Conner had a recent medical scare because of his workaholic ways while expanding his security business. His sister Maura is demanding he take a rest and contacts Jillian. Since Jillian lives in Hawaii and has an extra room available for rent, he heads over for a month of relaxation.

Jillian is a successful writer of erotic books and enjoys living in a place that she can be away from her family obligations and she can be herself. She is a little eccentric and enjoys living the unconventional life in Hawaii. Conner on the other hand is very rigid and is use to a schedule for everything so has a difficult time of relaxing. Conner's sister is worried about him and although she will not communicate with him about the business she keeps in touch with Jillian to check on him. She wants him to enjoy and relax so she makes sure when Jillian has time that she shows him around the island.

Because Jillian loves living here so much she shows Conner the real Hawaii so he can get a real feel for the island and not the tourist feel. As they spend time together Conner realizes his feeling for Jillian are changing. This especially becomes evident when they see each other at the Rough n Ready, she is doing research for a book and he meets up with a former colleague, Conner realizes he is a little jealous. Not sure what to do about it, he stays silent. Jillian knows he is a Dom and also starts to become interested in him, she thinks she would enjoy giving up some control in her life.

Jillian has some family issues that need to be dealt with and these bring her down at times however most of the time they have fun. Conner just starts to relax and enjoy himself with Jillian when her life is threatened. So with the help of several friends and previous characters from the Harmless series who have various talents in tracking down information, they set out to find out what is going on.
The story is fast pace and interesting to the end while Conner and Jillian try to find out who is threatening her and why.

The characters are believable and convincing and I enjoyed seeing others from previous Harmless stories. The chemistry between Conner and Jillian is amazing and sizzles. I love that they both learn things about themselves and grow as people. I am looking forward to more in this great series from Melissa Schroeder.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Hunter's Prey (Bloodhounds, #2)Hunter's Prey by Moira Rogers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great series set in a dark world that could be past or present. The world building in the first book is intriguing and continues with this second book. This Bloodhound book is about Hunter, a recently rescued bloodhound and Ophelia who is managing the house they live in after leaving her prior profession.

Ophelia has been given the position of managing the bloodhound house to help Satira while she is working in the lab with Nathaniel. Nathaniel was recently rescued from vampires and is in hiding, not sure what the Guild will think if they find he is alive and has been changed. While rescuing Nathaniel they also find Hunter who was turned against his will and then tortured by the vampires and kept in a cage. Nathaniel needs him to survive so he is living with the bloodhounds in Iron Creek, a little untamed.

Since Hunter was not turned by choice, he did not receive the training most bloodhounds do for handling the new and full moons. And even though Hunter finds he is attracted to Ophelia he is unsure of his strength and does not want to hurt her, so she makes arrangements for him to spend his first free new moon with women who can handle him at the house where Ophelia used to work as a prostitute. Things often do not go as planned and this is no exception, the fact that Hunter locks himself in the bathroom and will not come out has them calling Ophelia to help, she seems to be the only one to get through to him. This leaves them spending the new moon together – very nice!

The book is a wonderful story about two people finding their way after their own world is shaken up. The chemistry that comes across on the page is convincing and believable and when they find they respond well together, it is fun to watch. The story progresses with conflicts the bloodhounds must deal with that involve drugs, vampires and some corruption in the town. Nathaniel’s story continues with how the Guild will deal with him now that people are finding out that he may not be dead. All in all a great story and I am looking forward to the next book.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Black Howl

Black Howl (Madeline Black, #3)Black Howl by Christina Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Black Wings Series.

Maddy Black is back at home after dealing with death and destruction from the last book (Black Night). She is going about her business guiding souls and taking care of the entourage that lives in her house. At her guiding job, she notices that there are several confused ghosts around town, those that are not on a list and should not be dead. Also on her agenda is the fact that Maddy’s relationship with Gabriel is more complicated than ever, as he has been named a Thrall and she has been given control. She wants to treat him as usual, like an equal, but he wants no part of this and only when she is in danger does he revert back to treating her like he is guarding her.

When the wolves are attacked, Wade (alpha male) and several cubs are stolen, Maddy is asked to help find them. She sets out with her trusted gang (Beezle, Gabriel, Samiel and JB) to see if they can find the trail. Even Nathaniel shows up begrudgingly to help with the hunt. They find a portal that seems to hold some promise and end up in a cave with demons as guards. The group ends up finding the cubs in a large lab room just staring at cameras, as they disengage the kids they realize that they seem damaged and unable to help themselves. They escape with the young screaming kids only to realize that they cannot find Wade and must leave without him.

With the cubs back safely in the pack, the problem of healing them and finding Wade are still at the top of Maddy’s list. However, many things stand in her way. She is confronted with saving Samiel from being tried for the crimes in the past, Nathaniel is still pestering her to marry him (even after Lucifer makes some decisions for Maddy and Gabriel) and the Faerie Queen is causing problems.

This is a roller coaster of a ride. I really enjoyed this book and it might be my favorite of the three. It was so emotional and I loved the fact that the characters are settling into their “roles”. I laughed at Beezle and his antics and I cried during the difficult times. I enjoyed seeing the wolves, as they are so full of life and I love the way they cared for each other. This is a great read and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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