Tag Archives: 4 Hearts

Bear to Have and Hold: Kodiak Den #5

By Amy Lamont

Synopsis

Wedding planner Kayla Mackenzie specializes in creating spectacular destination weddings in exotic locations. But when her newest clients decide they want to get married in the wilds of Alaska, anxiety rears its ugly head. Sticking to cosmopolitan cities and tropical beaches allows her to avoid the one creature that scares her more than the words “prenuptial agreement.” But heading to the heart of werebear country means she’ll have to face her biggest fear.

Outdoor adventure guide Trent Black gets grouchier each day that goes by without finding his mate. But the last woman he expects to ignite his possessive instincts is a high maintenance human like Kayla. It’s bad enough she hates everything to do with the outdoors, but her obvious fear of bear shifters leaves him questioning his attraction. When fate steps in and strands them in a late winter blizzard, he has one chance to help her to overcome her fear and open her heart.

Review

Bear to Have and Hold is a classic of story of girl meets boy and boy just happens to be a bear shifter.  The story is a tale of acceptance and forgiveness.  It is also about seeing things for what they really are.

I liked Kayla because she has faults but she’s okay with them. And her best friend is not afraid to point them out.  She is a successful business woman that is just going through the motions of life.  She has her fears and she has to understand and overcome them.

I loved Trent.  He is perfect for Kayla.  He is an outdoorsman that lives his life and does more than go through the motions. Kayla learns a lot from him.

This book has a good heart to it.  It was short but had good characters in it.

Bear to Have and Hold

My Rating:  

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Villain

By Jackie Wang

Synopsis

I go by many names: Playboy, Hustler, Villain.
They call me a sadistic a-hole because I rob from the poor and cheat on the weak.
Do I ever regret the choices I’ve made? All the damn time.
But it’s too late to turn back, and too late to start over…
I’ve never even considered giving it all up for anyone or anything before. Never had a reason or motivation to change.
Until I met her.
Callista Rayner. Heiress. Goddess. Need-her-ass-up-on-my-mattress.
My last chance at redemption.
Problem was, I couldn’t afford to fall for her, because I didn’t want to ruin her.
I didn’t want to destroy her, like the others that came before.
Too bad I had no choice.
Too bad she was my pawn and I had to use her.
Too bad, too bad, too bad.

Note: This dark romance contains sensitive subject matter and is intended for a mature audience.

Review

Villain tested my resolve and I found myself feeling so angry and upset for Ryder, regardless of the decisions he made in his life I was so upset for how he was living and found myself really angry at the adults who had played him.  I hated how he was living, he had nothing and was scraping by, it really made me sad and I could rant all day about ‘The Kept Woman’ !!

I wanted his revenge, I was with him every step of the way as his father is a brutal man and then throw in all the other people playing with his feeling and emotions well no wonder he is so aggressive.

The last quarter of this book just explodes with so many questions but also big answers and then the final chapter just blows it out of the water, I had no clue and well I was pleasantly surprised by this so well done to the author.

I kind of wished we had a couple of more chapters after the explosive revelations as by then I really had connected to Ryder and Callie as a couple in the romantic sense.

So my only complaint was I did want more emotional connection between Ryder and Callie, I did not feel them, they were both playing their cards so close to their chest if affected my ability to think they were attracted to each other emotionally and physically.  I really did not connect to them until right at the end which was a shame and I also found her friendship group strange.

Quote:  I married a monster. The monster wore a kind mask. He Said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’

Villain

My Rating:  

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The Executioner (The Family Creed # 1)

By Shauna Allen

Synopsis

~ Five brothers, one family tragedy, untold heartache. ~

A stray bullet ended my Army career, forcing me to follow in my father’s prison guard footsteps.
My sister’s disappearance ten years ago annihilated my family, forcing each of us to find a way to cope. 
But I’ve survived. Adapted. 
At least until Genevieve Stone showed up, digging into the truth in the name of journalism and finding her way deep under my skin. I’m determined to do whatever it takes to find my sister, but when the case is blown wide open by the sexy reporter, I’m left with the ultimate question . . . can I trust her? 
I’m a soldier, heart and soul. 
I don’t do love. 
War and death and pain are my church.
My name is Asher Creed.
I am the Executioner. 

***Reader note: This is the first of a 6-part emotional family saga series. Each story is 100% male first-person point-of-view, and while each full-length novel is guaranteed to have a complete HEA romance, their family mystery remains unsolved until the end of the series.

Review

THE EXECUTIONER starts with a quick prologue that shows Claire being abducted ten years ago, before continuing on in the present day.  Asher’s family has been left devastated by Claire’s disappearance, but Asher is also saddened at how his once-close family has drifted apart over the years, as each family member has suffered alone and in silence.

Asher is a very hard working, honest and down to earth man.  What you see is truly what you get.  While working as a prison guard is not his dream job, he takes pride in his work and is respectful, which translates into being somewhat respected by most of the inmates he works amongst.  Genevieve is a crime reporter who doesn’t just focus on the crime when writing her stories, but also on the victims and their families.  Being a victim herself, she understands that it’s the people who are left behind that tend to suffer the most.  She’s perfect for Asher in that she too is very hard working, respectful and has a lot of integrity.

While THE EXECUTIONER does involve a romance between Asher and Genevieve, the bulk of this story revolves around the Creed family members as they deal with Claire’s disappearance, even ten years later.  I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much about the romance between Asher and Genevieve, but I am very intrigued by Claire’s disappearance and would love to know how that story plays out.

THE EXECUTIONER is told only in Asher’s POV and ends in a cliffhanger.  It is considered a family saga, so the books cannot be read as stand-alones and they will need to be read in order.  Asher is the oldest of five brothers, and each brother will get their own story: Asher; Levi; Jamison; Joshua; and Silas.  Although, considering this will be a six-part family saga, I’m not sure who the sixth book will be about.  I have a theory, but it’s one I’ll be keeping to myself.  Looking at Amazon, the next three books are being released at the end of May, June and July.  If that’s the case, I’ll be very happy that we won’t have to wait too long to find out what exactly happened to Claire.

The Executioner (The Family Creed # 1)

My Rating:  

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The Family Creed Series

The Backup Boyfriend (The Boyfriend Chronicles # 1)

By River Jaymes

Synopsis

Professionally, Dr. Alec Johnson has almost reached his goals. As this year’s recipient of a humanitarian award with his ex, Dr. Tyler Hall, Alec’s work with the homeless is about to be recognized. Unfortunately, his personal life sucks because now he has to attend several events alongside Tyler—with his ex’s new boyfriend in tow. In an attempt to lift his mood and break out of his rut, Alec purchases a motorcycle he has no idea how to start.

Dylan Booth doesn’t have time for Dr. Clueless and his fickle 1964 Harley, but the cocky mechanic can’t say no to the request for help. Having spent his teen years on the streets, and losing his best friend to HIV, Dylan decides teaching the do-gooder how to ride is the least he can do. But watching Alec flounder in his ex’s company throws Dylan into protector mode, and the confirmed hetero introduces himself as Alec’s new boyfriend.

The ex suspects Dylan is lying.

Alec claims Dylan’s plan is insane.

And Dylan’s not sure he can fake being gay.

But Dylan’s a master bullshitter, and the phony PDA soon turns ultra-hot. Alec can’t afford to get attached, and Dylan’s learned everyone eventually leaves. Unfortunately, playing the backup boyfriend is starting to feel way too real…

Review

I read THE BACKUP BOYFRIEND a few years ago and it was one of those stories that would pop into my head from time to time, even though I couldn’t remember the title or the author.  I was finally able to find it and re-read it to see if it was as good as I remembered.  It was.  I didn’t take a lot of notes, and it is slow moving with not a lot of action, but it was an enjoyable read.

Alec and Dylan are both very nice guys who have mutual friends, yet have never met.  Alec is the sweet one who has known he was gay since he was a teen and loves being in a relationship.  He comes across as the more sensitive and insecure of the two, but at the same time he loves topping Dylan.  Dylan is the complete opposite of Alec.  He’s straight, avoids commitment and is more rough around the edges than what Alec is used to.  He’s surprised by his feelings for Alec, but I liked how he wasn’t afraid to embrace them—for the most part.  I liked watching him grow and learn to accept the things he always thought he didn’t want.

THE BACKUP BOYFRIEND is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, each book can be read as a stand-alone.  It comes with a sweet epilogue and a HFN ending for Dylan and Alec.

The Backup Boyfriend (The Boyfriend Chronicles # 1)

My Rating:  

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The Boyfriend Chronicles Series

Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn #1)

By Maya Banks

Synopsis

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister — the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Maya Banks.

When Caleb Devereaux’s younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie’s vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her — including his heart….

Review

Keep Me Safe was paced really well and I connected immediately to Caleb and Ramie.  I have read Maya Banks before and was interested to see her take on a paranormal series.

Ramie’s gift takes us on a sensitive journey and your heart breaks for her loneliness and the horror she sees with her gift.  I was thankful for Caleb and his strong protection of her after his initial poor treatment at the start of this story. Their love making was romantic and the caring way he treated her was beautiful.

One thing, I did not like was Caleb’s brothers or his sister at all however I adored Dean, he was amazing and I felt his connection to help Ramie more than Caleb’s brothers.

The ending was very quick and I feel as though there are some characters I needed some further closure on particularly Tori and Ramie.  I admit by the end though I had forgiven his brothers as they stepped up to the plate when all the drama started.

The last quarter of this book just explodes with endless action and you will not be able to put it down.

Am I going onto the next book in this series, yes as I am enjoying the change in story telling by Maya.

Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn #1)

My Rating:  

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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

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Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Review

PIPE DREAMS is a second-chance romance between Lauren and Mike, who broke up two years before due to a personal issue Mike had to deal with.  I won’t lie, how Mike ended their relationship years ago was all kinds of wrong, but then I guess there wouldn’t be a story if he had ended things the right way.

“Who’s the only one who really harmed me?”
“I am.”
“Good guess! And two years later I’m still waiting for the only apology that ever mattered.”

Due to Lauren’s cold and unfriendly demeanor in the previous two books, I was worried I wouldn’t like her in her own story.  But after being in her head for a few pages, I wasn’t worried anymore.  We find out why she acts the way she does—and I could certainly understand it—but in this book her demeanor does a complete 180, which is normally great, but I felt it changed too quickly and easily.  I liked Mike; he’s a nice guy and a good dad, but he didn’t make me swoon.  I admired the reason behind his breakup with Lauren, but again, he could have handled it so much better.

Even two years later, one glance at him made her remember how quickly her love had been thrown away.  Like yesterday’s trash.

Just like the change in Lauren’s behaviour, I felt their relationship was rekindled too easily.  Yes, Lauren tells Mike exactly how badly he hurt her, and they don’t come together until the second half of the book (from memory), but they fall into bed and then fall back into a relationship without any real discussion, while making a huge life changing decision.

PIPE DREAMS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The story includes flashbacks to when they first dated, and I don’t know why but I had a hard time following the switch between the past and present.  I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy PIPE DREAMS, but I really did.  It held my attention and Lauren and Mike are both likeable characters.  It’s just that after several days between reading it and reviewing it, these are the points that stand out the most.  We get a lovely HEA for Lauren and Mike, and it looks like we’ve seen some progress in the potential relationship between Nate and Becca.  Nate seems like such a geeky sweetheart and I know I’m not the only one who’d love to see their story.

Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

My Rating:  

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Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Sex in the Sticks (Love Hurts # 1)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Valentine French may be the sassiest dating columnist in New York City, but the abundance of metrosexuals in her adopted metropolis is seriously cramping her style. Where are the beefy all-American boys? Hoping to find some inspiration, Val heads to Alaska, where the men outnumber the women fifteen to one and wrestle grizzly bears for sport. Or so she can only imagine. Suddenly the most eligible bachelorette in a town full of horny lumberjacks, Val is writing her best columns ever. But if she doesn’t get her nose out of her laptop, she just might miss out on Mr. Right.

Logan Burke is the sheriff of the little podunk town that Val finds so charmingly backward. He’s not that different from the guys she’s using for her little experiment; it’s just that one date would never be enough for Logan. As he listens to Val complain about love over beers in the local tavern, he realizes that she can’t see the forest for the trees. Because if she would ever give up her Prada bags and fourteen-dollar martinis, Logan would give her the only luxury that matters: his heart.

Review

SEX IN THE STICKS is the first book in a new series from Sawyer Bennett and, after the last book of hers I read, I was grateful that it was a lot easier on my emotions.

“You are seriously the sexiest man I’ve ever known.  I swear your words could probably make me come.”
“We can try that out later.  But right now I want you on my face.”

I liked Valentine and the shameless attitude she displayed from beginning to end.  She believes that women can be just as sexually active as men, but she doesn’t sleep with every man she dates.  She simply enjoys dating and is trying to find a good man to be with.  Although she did behave like a diva when she first arrived in Alaska, she’s really quite down-to-earth despite her wealth and snotty upbringing.  She’s generous and friendly, but don’t get on her bad side because she will fight back.

Logan is a nice and easy-going guy, one who enjoys the simple life that his little Alaskan town has to offer.  He’s well liked and respected by the locals and is certainly no slouch between the sheets, but what I liked most about him were his apologies.  Especially his first one, which was one half sincere apology and one half alpha demand.  It made one hot combination.

SEX IN THE STICKS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HFN ending for Logan and Valentine.  There is an epilogue where you get a small glimpse of their future, but I hope we’ll get to see a little more of them in the other books in this series.  Of course, that will depend on whether the other books take place in the same town, which I can’t tell from the blurb of the next book.  I will say that the conflict was easy to predict, but I loved how Logan and Valentine came back together because their reconciliation wasn’t rushed and it didn’t happen overnight.  Their forgiveness took time and made for a better ending, in my opinion.

If you’re looking for a light hearted read with some wilderness adventure thrown in, SEX IN THE STICKS is for you.

Sex in the Sticks (Love Hurts # 1)

My Rating:  

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Love Hurts Series

Boomerangers

By Heather M. Orgeron

Synopsis

Boomerangers [boo-muh-rang-ers] noun, informal: an adult that moves back home to live with a parent after a period of independence.

Spencer

I love sex. I love the power, the intimacy, the euphoria it brings. Too bad I’m not having any . . . You’d think as New Orleans’ most renowned sex therapist that I’d be swimming in single men. In a way, I am . . . except for the fact that one is in diapers and the other two are drowning in preteen hormones. As a single mother of three, my days are devoted to my clients and my kids, and my nights are spent with Fabio, my trusty vibrator. When my world begins to unravel, I have no choice but to move back home. And when my high school sweetheart comes waltzing back into my life, comedy and chaos ensue.

What can I say? I never said I could pick ’em, but you can bet your ass I know how to fix ’em.

Cooper

As soon as the ink dried on my divorce papers, I made myself a solemn vow: I was done with relationships. Moving home to take over my father’s firm was the plan, until Spencer decided to return, along with three souvenirs from the life she’s lived without me. 

I’ve been in love with the girl next door for nearly all of my life; the rest was spent trying to forget her. I’d give almost anything for a second chance with her, but I have no time for distractions—especially the kind that involve diapers, bottles, and eighteen-year commitments. 

The problem is, she’s already got me by the balls . . . and I’m beginning to feel the noose tightening around my heart.

Review

BOOMERANGERS is the first book I’ve read from Heather M. Orgeron and I found it to be an enjoyable read.  It’s a second chance romance between Spencer and Cooper, who broke up at the end of high school.  In the fifteen years since then, they’ve both been married, divorced, and Spencer has had three children: twelve year old twins Landon and Lake; and two year old Kyle.

I liked both Spencer and Cooper and was rooting for them to get back together.  Although to be honest, I can’t figure out why Cooper broke up with Spencer in the first place.  You see his reason during a flashback scene, but it just didn’t make sense to me, especially given that he didn’t capitalise on it.  To me, the way he behaved in that flashback looked like he was being forced to break up with her when he really didn’t want to.

I liked that Cooper accepted total responsibility for their breakup all those years ago and that he regretted letting her go.  The only thing that annoyed me about him was how fixated he was on the fact that Spencer’s kids were not his.  It’s almost like he resented their existence, although that is too harsh a description.  That being said, I loved his one-on-one time with Kyle.  In one particular scene, he became Kyle’s defender and protector, and facing off against that other adult and getting into lawyer mode was just plain hot.

BOOMERANGERS is a romantic comedy, and while there were times where I laughed, I also thought some of the humour was a bit forced, and that a scene or two were random and thrown in for humour’s sake.  It is told in dual POVs and comes with a very nice HEA.  As I said above, this is the first time I’ve read Heather’s work, and I would gladly read from her again.

Boomerangers

My Rating:  

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Hook (No Prisoners MC #4)

By Lilly Atlas

Synopsis

After ten years away, Marcie finally ventures back to where she grew up. She isn’t in town for twenty-four hours when she crosses paths with Hook and Striker, the two boys who kept her safe and happy as a young girl. Only they aren’t boys anymore. They are fully grown, muscular, alpha men. Members of the No Prisoners Motorcycle Club. All through her teenage years, Marcie’s heart belonged to Hook. Not that he ever seemed to notice. And it appears that as an adult, not much has changed with regard to her feelings toward the sexy biker. But a bossy, alpha man is not what independent Marcie is looking for.

The moment Hook lays eyes on Marcie, it’s as though the last ten years apart never existed. Back when she was off limits, he wanted her, and it doesn’t take long before he realizes he still wants her. Marcie’s changed, though. She’s no longer a frightened teenager in need of a haven. Now she’s a beautiful, confident woman, and a bit too independent. Will Hook be able to convince Marcie a life with him wouldn’t stifle her freedom? Their relationship is tested when Marcie clings to her hard-won life and when an aspect of that life threatens not only their future together, but their safety as well.

Review

Hook is the third book of this series I have read, I have still not read book 1, in saying that this is a Novella, so this story is quick and there is immediate connection with the two main characters Marcie and Hook.

Hook centres around a few days where Marcie returns to bury her mother and we are given  quick glimpses back into her growing up and how her friendship with Hook and Striker form.  It is endearing the way these two guys looked after the young neighbour in their trailer park and it does help the reader to connect after their reunion and cements the affection between all three as friends.

Hook and Marcie’s sex scenes are passionate and steamy and do not disappoint and it was interesting to follow Marcie’s struggle with allowing her friends to help her and also to lean on the man who loves her.

Marcie’s ex boyfriend provides drama and suspense and ultimately entwines these two characters together in the end.

I read this Novella in a day, could not put it down and I could have honestly read a full novel on these two characters, they had great chemistry and friendship.

Hook (No Prisoners MC #4)

My Rating:  

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