Category Archives: Read by Christine

Fire on the Farm (Second Chance Cowboy Romance)

By Betty Shreffler

Synopsis

Losing the man she loved to a terrible accident, pushes Amy Flanders into a life of independence. Her only source of comfort is her work—a business dedicated to the care and training of horses. Until one lonely night leads her into the arms of Brock Baisdin. A man who fulfills her deepest desires and reignites a flame long forgotten.

Between his picky tastes and running his own business, Brock Baisdin has little time for women, but that doesn’t stop him from looking for love. After saving Amy from a cancelled date, Brock is instantly drawn to the shy and beautiful woman hiding secrets beneath her lust-filled baby blues—secrets he finds himself eager to discover.

Undeniable attraction pulls them into each other’s arms. Hope draws them into each other’s lives. For Amy Flanders, Brock Baisdin may be the man to bring love back into her lonely life, if only she can overcome the wounds of her past and face her biggest fear—risking the pain of another shattered heart.

Review

Fire on the Farm is a gut-wrenching story of loss and finding your way back to love again.  I have to say that you need box of tissues for this one.  Betty Shreffler did an amazing job of making emotional highs and lows.

I loved Amy’s character.  She had a lot of love in her heart and it was just a matter of unlocking it.  I could also understand how she thought that she would that she had her one love.  She closed herself off and it took a long time before she was able to let even the ones she cared about back into her life completely.  She went through a lot of pain and it would be hard for anyone to carry on.

Brock was a character that I liked but I had issues with him, especially near the end of the book. He was always quick to say that she could have as much time as she needed but then he wanted to keep the relationship moving and he was very quick to jump to conclusions.

They both had very involved families.   Brock’s mother was very overly protective. She was definitely a character that I could not understand.  Amy’s family was also very protective but let her follow the path she was supposed to be on.

Fire on the Farm is a beautiful story of a second chance at love.  Life doesn’t always follow the road you start on but eventually people find their way back in.

Fire on the Farm

My Rating:  1/2

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Betty Shreffler:  Click Here

Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampire #13)

By Chloe Neill

Synopsis

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation into a vampire, Merit has stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire who seems to be under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have imagined. As malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It is her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

Review

Blade Bound is the final installment for Merit and Ethan.  For me, it was the perfect way to end their journey.  It brought their story full circle.  I loved how it had references to when they first met and how their love evolved. I couldn’t put this book down and even though I loved the ending, I still didn’t want it to be over.

Merit has grown so much even though it had only been a year.  She had discovered what she was capable of and found the love of her life.  She has an inner strength and loyalty that really matches no other.

I love Ethan.  He has also grown since meeting Merit.  He had learned how love affects people and how it effects everything in his life.  Ethan has always known what Merit is made of and made sure that she had the opportunity to become the person she was meant to be.

Blade Bound also had all the characters that we have grown to love throughout this series.  From Luc and Lindsey, Jeff and Merit’s grandfather to Catcher and Mallory.  And yes Catcher is still tying to get a Lifetime movie made out of their story.

This story has everything in it that makes the Chicagoland Vampire Series so great.  I really like how it highlights that fact that the humans and vampires still do not have a great relationship but the vampires will find a way to save the city.  I also couldn’t get enough of their wedding.  It touched on everything that makes them so great together.  I’m sad that this series has ended but I’m looking forward to the spinoff series and hope for some cameos.

Blade Bound

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Chloe Neill:  Click Here

Lone Cougar (Solo Shift #2)

By Nicole Lake

Synopsis

Sam:

I didn’t particularly care for Ryan when he showed up for his first massage. And I don’t particularly care for him now, even if he’s the hottest thing in Green Holler. Especially because he’s the hottest thing in Green Holler.

He reminds me of every player I met in high school and college, he travels constantly because of his work, and I’m sure he’s got a girl in every airport. And his work? He’s the guy Dad hired for advice on expanding his art store, and I can just see him changing it into McArts or something cheesy.

Not that I’m looking for a man anyway. I don’t ask for much. Just a man who’s not a complete jerk, doesn’t mind living out here in the middle of the Ozarks, and won’t freak out when he discovers that shifting’s real and his girlfriend’s an owl shifter.

And Ryan’s not that man. Right?

Ryan:

The woman at the B&B’s trying to get me to date Sam–short for Samantha, she’s careful to point out. Not going to happen, even if Sam’s the most beautiful woman I’ve seen. For one thing, there’s plenty of beautiful women out there, but not enough damn-good massage therapists like Sam. On top of that, her dad’s my client, and that mixture of business and pleasure is a bad idea.

Why would anyone give up their big-city dreams, go back home to this Ozark tourist trap–sorry, I mean “this quaint Ozark town”–and hang up a shingle as a massage therapist, even a damn good one? I don’t get it, but I can’t afford to settle down like she did. With all the consulting gigs I do, I’ve got to stay on the road all the time.

Besides, when I’m on the road, no one can get close enough to find out about my cougar, and I can have a good time any night I want, anywhere I want, with almost any woman I want, with no commitments.

I’m not scared of commitment, but what woman’s going to commit to a guy who’s also occasionally a cougar? Certainly not Sam.

———————-

Imagine yourself as a shifter alone in a world that doesn’t know shifting exists.

This is the Solo Shift world: no packs, no guidance, no mates, and no prospects until chance, luck, trust, and love all intervene.

Review

Lone Cougar is a story about two people who are drawn together.  They are attracted to each other but know that they would never really be more than a one time thing.  Sam and Ryan may only be perfect for each other.

Sam a girl who had dreams of moving away but her heart only belonged to this small town. She is bright and sweet.  She had a real family feel to her but she feels that she will never have a family of her own because she doesn’t know if she would be able to share her secret that she is a sifter.

Ryan comes off like a player.  He is helping Sam’s dad with his business and at the same time finding a connection with Sam.  He also believes that because of his secret that he will never be able to settle down.

Lone Cougar has a good story base.  I like the idea of two people that are unique, who don’t know that there are any other shifters in the world, are somehow attracted to each other.  The story itself lost the energy about half way through the book and there was places that seemed awkward.  The exclamation point was overused.  I’m not sure if this was because this was an ARC or if this was really apart of the story. I did enjoy getting to know these two characters and this small town.

Lone Cougar

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

More Than Want You (More Than Words Book 1)

By Shayla Black

Synopsis

I’m Maxon Reed–real estate mogul, shark, asshole. If a deal isn’t high profile and big money, I pass. Now that I’ve found the property of a lifetime, I’m jumping. But one tenacious bastard stands between me and success–my brother. I’ll need one hell of a devious ploy to distract cynical Griff. Then fate drops a luscious redhead in my lap who’s just his type.

Sassy college senior Keeley Kent accepts my challenge to learn how to become Griff’s perfect girlfriend. But somewhere between the makeover and the witty conversation, I’m having trouble resisting her. The quirky dreamer is everything I usually don’t tolerate. But she’s beyond charming. I more than want her; I’m desperate to own her. I’m not even sure how drastic I’m willing to get to make her mine–but I’m about to find out.

Review

Shayla Black started this series with a bang.  Just like in past series, she makes characters complex that have you cursing them in one minute and cheering for them the next.   She also gave us a cast of people that work perfectly in this story.  The main characters are Maxon and Keeley.  But there is also Britta who assists Maxon with his business but she is also his brother’s ex-girlfriend. And she also had his nephew.  Rob also works with Maxon but he is driven by success and is cutthroat about it.

Maxon is everything that he is billed to be.  He is an asshole and I have to say that I didn’t care for him too much in the beginning.  His main goal is to be number one and he pretends to not care how he gets there. He doesn’t want his brother Griff to take that title from him.  But there is more to Maxon and he has to find his own road to forgiveness.

I loved Keeley from the very beginning.  She was sunshine.  I loved her personality and that her main goal was to be happy.  I also really liked that fact that she thought that was everyone’s goal.  She really is a glass is half full type of person.   It really had me wishing I could be more like her.

More Than Want You takes you on an emotional journey of what happens to a family when competition is prized above everything.  Maxon and Giff’s father is the real asshole and it drives these brothers apart.   Keeley is the exact opposite of Maxon but somehow they fit perfectly together.   I could really tell the musical influences in this story.  Keeley loves to sing but she sings what she is feeling in the moment.  This series started strong and now I can’t wait for Griff’s story.

More Than Want You

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Shayla Black:  Click Here

Tempting the Flames (Where There’s Smoke Book 2)

By Em Petrova

Synopsis

Where there’s smoke, Ryan is eager to jump into the flames.

Ryan, aka Blaze, is a California smokejumper whose motto is “grab life by the balls and hold on tight.” He refuses to accept defeat, and that’s why he fights the world’s biggest wildfires. He loves his job, and it’s even better with a certain quirky woman making a documentary about their team. Every time she’s around, Blaze has a hard time zipping his jumpsuit.

Scarlett is only interested in finishing this documentary for her dissertation. She isn’t into Blaze’s rugged good looks and crooked smile. The two of them are just buddies—who see each other naked, that is. Between his rough hands and heart of gold, Scarlett wonders how she will be able to walk away once she’s finished filming. But maybe she won’t need to.

When the smoke clears…

Do people fall in love after only a few days? Blaze’s idea might be crazy enough to work. When he says, “I bet you can’t handle a man like me forever,” Scarlett is head-over-heels enough to try. Which means a wild trip to the justice of the peace and a wedding dinner at IHOP is in order.

But now that the fire’s died down and reality has hit, she doesn’t want Blaze in the path of danger. Not when she had everything to lose. And Blaze damn well isn’t giving up the only thing he’s been passionate about. As they fight to build a life out of lust, will they be able to create something out of the ashes?

Review

Tempting the Flames is a story about new love and navigating around the dangers of smoke jumping.  This really was love at first sight for both Scarlett and Blaze (aka Ryan).  They had instant chemistry.

This is a very fast paced story that explores the relationships formed when one of the partners has a dangerous job.  Scarlett is there on a research project to finish her degree.  She is getting to know all of the men and doing a documentary to find out why they do it. Blaze never expected Scarlett or the feelings he instantly had for her.

I liked the fact that this story highlights the families of these men and women.  This is a dangerous job and that takes a toll on relationships.  After Scarlett realizes that Blaze is not going to give up on his job, she has to come to terms with it.  I also liked the fact that Blaze was not okay with her being out in the field.  He instantly became very protective of her.

Em Petrova does a wonderful job of expressing the emotion that happens between people when they are afraid for someone else and the camaraderie between these men and women. The one thing that perhaps I would question is that Scarlett had no training before she went into the field with the men.  She had never jumped out of plane and her focus in school was not wild land firefighting, so I’m not sure the she would have been taken to an active scene.  But this is a great story about love at first sight and then figuring out how to stay together.

Tempting the Flames

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Em Petrova:  Click Here

Freeze Frame: A SNAPshot Novel

By Freya Barker and KT Dove

Synopsis

A new career, a new place, and a new man—you’d think after the rough year she’s had, Isla has finally found her stride. Of course it’s never that simple. Some dreams she is building, some dreams are taken away before they have a chance to form. But she never imagined that the one thing she’s worked so hard to realize, could be the cause it all breaks apart.

Ben doesn’t miss his assignments, his life of deceit, or his unsavory associations—but they appear to miss him. Just as he’s beginning to think perhaps there’s redemption for him after all, his dark past casts a long shadow.—and not just on him, but on the woman who made him believe.

Review

Freeze Frame picks up right where Shutter Speed leaves off.  Ben and Isla have amazing chemistry with each other.  They have so much that has changed in their lives that it could tear apart a new relationship or could make them stronger.

I loved this couple in Shutter Speed but I wasn’t sure what direction Freya and KT were going to take them on.  Both Ben and Isla are navigating new lives together.  She has just moved to take over the camp and start a new career as a photographer.  Ben has left his job for good and is still trying to decide what he ultimately wants to do but has settled on helping Isla make something out of the campsite. Ben loves Isla and soon finds that making a life with her is what he wants and he will figure everything else out later.  But Ben has a past that he didn’t even know about that will come back to haunt them both.

I really love the strength that Isla has even when she is full of self doubt.  She was not going to let anyone hurt them or the people they loved. And I loved Ben, because even when he had his own doubts that Isla would stay, he was ready to give his full support to her. Both of their families added to the complexities of relationships. Ben’s sister and niece were great.  They also went through a lot and added to Ben’s strength of character.  Freeze Frame is a carefully crafted novel on a relationship that has to go through turmoil to get to the other side.

Freeze Frame

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Freya Barker:  Click Here

I Just Want You

By Kaylee Ryan

Synopsis

“Go to college,” they said. “Get a good job,” they said. “It will be a piece of cake.” Well, whoever they are, they lied. Sure, college was a blast, but after college, not so much. The finding a job to go with my expensive education, that part was not so easy. At least not until I was offered a position at the new club in town.

Life is defined by the little moments that have the power to change it completely. I never thought getting a cup of coffee would change mine, but it did. She did. She’s one of those moments.

He’s my boss.

She’s my employee.

I want him.

I can’t resist her.

Review

I Just Want You is a stand alone romance that will pull at your heart.  This is a story of two young people that  are finding their way in the world.

Crew just found out that he had a grandmother and she left him a lot of money.  He wants to make sure that he builds his future.  He has a loyal friend in Zane who also keeps him from getting too serious.

Berklee has just finished college and just needs someone to give her a chance. She has a business degree but, just like many new graduates find out, every job she applies for they want experience. So she is working at a coffee shop until she finds that place that will give her a chance.  Berklee has some great friends that help her through everything.  They also help keep the story light and fun.

When Crew walks into the coffee shop where Berklee works there is an instant attraction, but he has made a promise to himself that he is going to get his bar up and going before he will consider women again.  But fate has aligned against him and has put Berklee right in his path.

I really thought that I Just Want You was an interesting, intense at times and fun.  It had an interesting interruption on a modern relationship.  I fell for Crew the moment he offered a job to his best friend.  That to me showed what kind of man he was. But I also loved the way he wasn’t perfect.  He was jealous and he didn’t always know how to deal with his feelings. Berklee really helped him get to the next level of adulthood.  She also helped him realize what he had to lose. Kaylee Ryan wrote an effective view of professional and personal relationships that had me rooting for Crew and Berklee.

I Just Want You

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Kaylee Ryan:  Click Here

Kiss Marry Kill (Iron-Clad Security)

By Sidney Halston

Synopsis

Five years ago they fell in love after one whirlwind summer. Now she’s an internationally famous musician and he’s officially out of the military, but when their worlds collide, can they keep things strictly professional? Sweet, thrilling, emotional, and sexy, fall in love with Megan and Jax in USA Today bestseller Sidney Halston’s Kiss Marry Kill.

He’s been chasing a memory . . .
It was just supposed to be a regular Thursday afternoon…and then he saw her. Sitting in seat L214, one seat over from his at the baseball game, right next to her douche of a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. An impromptu kiss for the kiss cam, and Jax knew his life would never be the same. Five years and a tour in Afghanistan later, Jax is back stateside running his own private security firm, Iron-Clad, with his best friend. He isn’t the man he used to be… but Megan isn’t the sexy and sweet, though sheltered, twenty-two-year-old he left behind, either. And she’s in trouble.

…but now they’re on the run.
Megan Cruz has made something of herself. She’s turned her dreams of pop stardom into a reality. But when a deadly stalker breaks into her home claiming to be her number-one fan, the only person she can turn to is the boy who got away. But Jax isn’t the same carefree charmer who stole her heart, then broke it when he joined the military. This man is seductive, hard, guarded. And he’ll do anything to protect what’s his.

Review

Kiss Marry Kill is the story of two people who fell for each other at the wrong time in their lives. They had a chance at something special after four amazing days together but unfortunately reality stepped in and it was not meant to be.  Five years later, circumstances have given Megan and Jax another chance.

Jax is the head of a security company and Megan is a music star and the obsession of a stalker. Jax comes in and does everything in his power to make her safe.  But in the five years that they were apart they both changed.  Jax was changed by the war.  Megan was changed by Jax and learned to do what she was passionate about.

Megan has some great friends that help her on her journey.  Her friends in the band are amazing and bring a lighter feel to the story.  Her parents are also support system even if they don’t totally understand why she wants to go down this path.  Megan also has a serious problem, she has a stalker that has managed to invade her home and her sense of security.

Kiss Marry Kill is a sweet second change love story that had some thrilling parts in it.  I loved how they meet at the baseball game and spent 4 amazing days together.  I also felt that the way Jax had changed seemed appropriate for what he went through in the war.  But I did feel like the story started to loose energy about 40% of the way through and didn’t pick back up until nearly the end.  It does have a twist in it that I had guessed but it still made an interesting ending.

Kiss Marry Kill

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon l iBooks

Visit Sidney Halston:  Click Here

Into the Fire (A Night Prince Novel #4)

By Jeaniene Frost

Synopsis

For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now, falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.

A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them . . . and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.

Review

Into the Fire is the fourth and final book in the Night Prince series.  And just like all the other books in this series it did not disappoint.  Vlad and Leila have true passion for one another. There is only one thing that can used against Vlad and that is Leila.

Leila is bound by spell to Mircea.  Mircea has daddy issues that have festered over time. Anything that happens to Mircea happens to Leila and that makes for a dangerous situation for Vlad.  Mircea wants to make Vlad pay.  But just has Mircea has the upper hand, he has been taken and used against Vlad because of the spell that was cast on Leila.

Into the Fire is so good.  It finishes this series in a spectacular way.  Jeaniene Frost has brought these characters to life for me.  Mencheres, Marty, Maximus and Gretchen all made appearances in this book.  But Ian made a huge impression on me.  He put so much humour into every facet of this book.  One of the things that I loved about this book is that you really see the passion that Vlad has for Leila and that they truly love each other.  Leila was very quick to stand up for Vlad even when he didn’t need it.

Leila also stands up for herself.  And when Vlad starts to be unreasonable and makes decisions for her, she has it out with him.  One things I love about these books is that they have strong female characters.  They always match their male counter parts with strength of character.

This book makes me want to read the whole series over again.  I can’t wait for Jeaniene Frost’s next book!!!

Into the Fire

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon l iBooks

Visit Jeaniene Frost:  Click Here

Tender Echoes: A Dark Prequel to Digital Velocity

By Reily Garrett

Synopsis

Theft of spirit is no one’s birthright.

A quirk of her X chromosome furnished Alexis with an edge few others enjoyed. After fate plunged Lexi into orphan status and an intolerable foster home forced her to the streets, a group of prostitutes sheltered her from their vicious pimp. Seeing something special within, they nurtured and shielded her from their harsh reality until she could forge her own path in life.
Destiny frequently takes us back to our roots. Lexi’s return journey begins when a serial killer attacks someone who’d offered her refuge in her previous life. Relying on courage and wit, she must stay a step ahead and secure evidence to free her family from a psychopathic murderer.

Review

Family comes in all shapes and forms. In Tender Echoes, family comes in the shape of prostitutes who take care of each other and girl who finds herself on the streets.  Family also comes in the form of the kindness of others who help her get the support that she needs so that she can reach her potential.  But help goes both ways and when the pimp who is boss over her family decides to punish one of them Lexi decides to make sure he doesn’t get away with it.

Lexi is a bright girl that has been given a hard road in life but she is loyal to those who have supported her.   She is brave and even if she fears what might happen to her, she will do everything in her power to make sure justice comes to the pimp.

Ethan is the detective that Lexi is giving information to.  He seems like a good person who wants to have justice come down on the pimp as well.  Lexi has a lot of trust issues that is preventing her from telling Ethan who she is and that she is the one who is giving him all the information.

Tender Echoes is a prequel to this series.  I like the fact the Lexi is smart and uses her skills to help those who need help around her.  Ethan is also an interesting character and I hope we are going to learn more about him in the future. There was no romance in this part of the story but a lot of action that set this series up for some interesting adventures in the future.

Tender Echoes

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Reily Garrett:  click here