Tag Archives: Sensitive Scene/Issue

Falling Hard (Colorado High Country # 3)

By Pamela Clare

Synopsis

A Gold Star wife alone…

Ellie Meeks promised her pilot husband that if he was killed in combat, she would live her life to the fullest. Three years later, she is still alone, raising the twins he never met. She has no interest in dating or meeting men—until one snowy night when a stranger helps her get her sick kids safely home. That stranger turns out to be a former Army Ranger and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He’s also tall, rugged… and irresistibly sexy. 

All it takes is one kiss…

Jesse Moretti came to Colorado to get Iraq out of his head, using the adrenaline of extreme sports and high-risk mountain rescues to keep his mind off the past. But getting involved with Ellie might be the riskiest thing he’s ever done. It’s not just their explosive chemistry. There’s something about Ellie that gets inside him, opening him to feelings he’s tried hard to ignore. 

When passion ignites…

Ellie feels alive in Jesse’s arms and happier than she ever thought she’d feel again. But their relationship comes at a price for him, and soon Ellie sees that she must help Jesse fight the demons of his past to protect the love of a lifetime—and save the heart of a hero.

Review

Ellie is a single mother to soon-to-be three-year-old twins (Daniel & Daisy) after her husband died in Iraq while she was pregnant.  She has a wonderful support system not only in her family, but in the small town where she lives.  I liked her a lot and thought her hesitations about dating again were realistic, though I did feel that her reaction to Jesse’s “secret” was a little irrational.  In fact, her reaction was the only part of the entire story that I didn’t like.

Jesse is an incredibly nice guy and I really enjoyed getting to know him.  He’s been living next door to Ellie for over two years and although they have never met, he knew about her husband and helped her out anonymously whenever he could.  He has saved many lives throughout his careers, but he focuses on the ones he couldn’t save, which affects him badly.  While he willingly jumps into frozen lakes without any hesitation, he hates the spotlight and doesn’t think of himself as a hero, which of course only makes him more likeable.

I have read all three books released in this series so far, and I have to say that this is the first time I’ve really gotten a feel for the small town.  When tragedy strikes, everyone in the community comes together to do and give whatever they can to help.  I don’t remember having that feeling in the first two books, but in this book that feeling was front and centre.

FALLING HARD is told in dual POVs, and quite often the POV would switch several times within a chapter.  While I did find that slightly annoying, I was grateful that the switch was marked by a symbol which made the change easily identifiable.  While FALLING HARD is part of a series, it can most definitely be read as a stand-alone.  The HEA is beautiful and sweet, but also achingly sad.  The final chapter took me the longest to read because I had to keep stopping to wipe my eyes.  Even re-reading it while I composed this review had me tearing up again.

FALLING HARD is the third book in the Colorado High Country series and is my favourite.  Any book that can draw out my emotions like this one did deserves the highest rating.

Falling Hard (Colorado High Country # 3)

My Rating:  

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Colorado High Country Series

Claimed by Magic (The Hunter Chronicles Book 3)

By Claire Marta

Synopsis

Broken hearted from Eric’s betrayal in Prague, Jasmine turns to her best friend to get her mind off everything she has lost.

Twitch takes her on a wild adventure in an attempt to cheer her up, but unbeknownst to either of them, danger lurks within the shadows of the techno mage’s magical homeland.

An ancient evil is rising.

No one is safe.
No one can be trusted.
Lines are drawn.
The battle to survive begins.

Review

Claimed by Magic is the third installment to the Hunter Chronicles and has taken this series to the next level for me.  New characters and new revelations are made.  Eric still pines for Jasmine and Jasmine is still broken hearted.  But we learn so much about them and Twitch.

Jasmine is jobless and is unsure of her next move.  She has a broken heart.  She also has another issue that she will have to face for some time to come thanks to Eric. Jasmine is tough and definitely not helpless.  She doesn’t even know what she is capable of yet.

Eric is facing a crisis of his own.  He hasn’t had feelings for a long time and now he is finding out that Jasmine has started to warm is frozen heart.  He is having trouble processing this so he tries to put distance between them.  In book three, Eric is forced to observe Jasmine and really see her for who she is and that makes him have even more feelings for her.

In Claimed by Magic, we get to know Twitch even better. Twitch takes Jasmine back home with him to Avalon. We see his world and the place he has in it. He is an outcast and feels awkward except around the people he loves most. In this installment, you get to know how Twitch became they way he is today.  We also learn who his is and what he’s capable of.

Avalon also becomes a character in this story.  There are many facets of life on this magical island.  It has a balance where all the different magical houses have equal power.  Someone wants to upset this balance and take control of the island for themselves which could erupt into a war which would bleed over into the non-magical world.

Claimed by Magic is another great installment to The Hunter Chronicles series.  Claire Marta has a wonderful way of making this magical world visual and modernizing old tales. There is so much that happens in this book, I can’t give away any more without giving away the revelations that are made throughout this story. This book was definitely one that I was looking forward to and it did not disappoint.  I love the fact that Jasmine is so strong and that Eric has to understand who she is. I look forward to the next adventure in The Hunter Chronicles.

Claimed by Magic

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Worth The Trouble (St. James # 2)

By Jamie Beck

Synopsis

Cover girl Cat St. James’s picture-perfect life is anything but flawless. Luckily, she’s a master of hiding the truth from the camera. Relying on that skill, she conceals her latest secret from her family while attending her brother’s wedding. Her only trouble now is Hank Mitchell—the soft-spoken carpenter she’d once brushed aside. Seeing him at the reception underscores her private heartache and ignites unwelcome longing, which she promptly drowns in champagne.

Hank is no stranger to sacrifice, having set aside his own ambitions to take care of his family. One thing he won’t forsake is his pride, which Cat already wounded once. But when the maddening beauty’s reckless behavior forces him to rush to her rescue, he sets in motion a series of events that leads Cat to make a business proposal granting him his dream job.

When Cat and Hank mix business with pleasure, promises and secrets unravel, and each must decide if and what they’ll surrender for love.

Review

WORTH THE TROUBLE is the second book in the St. James series and, as with the first book, it was a light and easy read and a good way to spend a few hours.  Cat and Hank shared a moment when they first met a year or two ago through her brother Jackson, but then Cat got back together with her boyfriend and things have been strained between them ever since.

Hank is one of those honest-to-God good guys and is so easy to like.  After his father died while he was a senior in high school, he gave up his college dreams and went straight to work to support his ailing mother and four younger sisters, allowing them to go to college and chase their dreams.  Despite his busy and hard-working life, he’s a simple man with simple tastes; all he wants is a wife, a family of his own and to make custom furniture.

“We’re two friends enjoying an attraction, right? Not falling in love.”
“Well, then, I’ll try to rein in my charm.  But don’t be shocked when you fall hard.  I’m a loveable guy.”

What can I say about Cat?  She finally kicked her psycho boyfriend from the first book to the kerb, and good riddance I say.  She’s determined and, when she comes up with an idea, she goes from 0-60 is 2.5 seconds.  She’s smart and does her research, but I do think she rushes into things too quickly.  I loved her journal entries where she’s talking to her mother; I thought they added a nice touch and made her seem softer.

WORTH THE TROUBLE is told in dual POVs, comes with a nice HEA and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  While this story focuses on Hank and Cat, quite a bit of it also focuses on Jackson and his behaviour that has everyone concerned.  Here, we learnt what happened between him and his ex-girlfriend and why he’s been spiralling ever since, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about it in his own book, WORTH THE RISK.

Worth The Trouble (St. James # 2)

My Rating:  

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St. James Series

Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye # 1)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home. 

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world. 

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves. 

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires. 

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels? 

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

Review

GOODBYE PARADISE is an amazing read with plenty of heartwarming scenes and beautiful characters.

Josh is an absolute sweetheart; one with a very kind and gentle soul.  Having been treated badly at the farm, he feels worthless and like nothing he does is ever good enough and, because of their religious upbringing, he also feels ashamed of his feelings towards Caleb.  But over time, and with reassurances from Caleb and their new friends, he slowly begins to let go of everything that was drilled into his head his whole life to find peace and happiness within himself.

“They think God doesn’t like it when you curse?  But god is just fine with throwing you out by the side of the road?  Do you hear how messed up that is?”

Caleb is the more confident, skilled and dominant of the two; he wasn’t bullied like Josh was because he held some rank at the farm.  He’s also a natural protector and spent most of his days at the farm shielding Josh.  I would go so far as to say he has a slight hero complex, because his need to protect sometimes went too far and he often felt responsible for things he had no control over.

“A real man does what needs doing.  He takes care of the people he loves.  You know this instinctively, even though every man in your own life treated you like shit.”

I not only loved Josh and Caleb, but almost everyone else in this story too.  Washington was their saviour when they needed one and seemed to become a father figure of sorts.  Maggie (a farm runaway from years before) was a lovely young woman who helped them adjust to life outside the farm.  Maggie’s husband, Daniel, was a cool guy who had no problem opening up his home to strangers in need.

GOODBYE PARADISE has loose ties to the True North series, but you don’t have to read those books to understand and enjoy this one.  GOODBYE PARADISE is told in dual POVs and comes with a lovely HEA for Josh and Caleb.  I truly hope we’ll be seeing more of them in the future, and I’d also like to see a book about Maggie’s sister, Miriam, because that young woman needs some happiness in her life after what she endured at the farm.

Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye # 1)

My Rating:  

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Below the Surface (Witness #5)

By Heather D’Agostino

Synopsis

Things aren’t always as they seem…

I’ve lived by that motto for most of my life. I’ve hid who I am, who I used to be, and what I’ve done from anyone who dares to get close to me. At nineteen I lost my parents. I thought nothing in the world could be more painful. I was wrong.

When I met Leo, my world seemed brighter. I felt hope for the first time in months. He promised me a life of luxury, but things aren’t always as they seem. Leo had a dark side, one that he hid from me. He pulled me under and held me captive, making death seem like the only way out.

It took me two years to escape. I ran never looking back until now. My life is finally coming together. I have people I trust, a job, and a safe place to call home, but things aren’t always as they seem.

One night, one phone call, one moment causes it to all crash down. Leo has my sister, and he wants to trade her for me. The one person I can trust is the only one who could also tear me apart… Detective Jeff Horn. He’s got secrets just like me, and seems to understand me better than I do myself.

How do I tell him my darkest secrets? How do I go back to a place that nearly broke me? How do I let him see Below the Surface?sert Synopsis Here

Review

Below the Surface was an amazing read, the leading character for me was Lena and she simply grabbed my heart from the first few pages.  As a reader I thoroughly enjoyed watching her journey from a survivor living Below the Surface of life from a horrific situation to finally breaking through and taking the amazing step of trusting another human being with her life and heart.

To watch Jeff and Lena make their way through so many obstacles, some very scary especially when she had to return to save her sister to them finally connecting on an intimate level was just beautiful story telling.

When Jeff and Lena are finally intimate I took a deep breath, it was just perfect in my eyes, the build up and emotional connection was just so worth the wait and did not disappoint.  I was with them every step of the way and Jeff’s handling of her was just so endearing but also forceful at the right moments for her recovery.

Below the Surface leads you through the story of her traumatic past however I appreciated we were not given too much detail as your own imagination can take you there to that dark place.  As soon as we were going dark the author turns and gives you light to make your way out of this part of the story, it is still sad but done really well in my opinion.

The supporting characters are very funny and help create a family of sorts and I have not read any of the other stories in the witness series, in my opinion you do not have to as this is definitely a standalone.

I could have read so many more chapters on Lena and Jeff and their love story – they were an amazing couple that had so much chemistry, passion and companionship – he was her warrior and brought her back from the darkness that she thought she would live with forever.

Below the Surface (Witness #5)

My Rating: 

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Claiming Grace (Ace Security # 1)

By Susan Stoker

Synopsis

For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.

Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.

Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.

Review

CLAIMING GRACE is the first book in the Ace Security series and is also the first book I’ve read from Susan Stoker.  It is a second-chance romance between Logan and Grace, who had feelings for each other in high school, but never acted on them before Logan left for the Army.  Thanks to the actions of others, they both believed the other had led them on and therefore haven’t seen or spoken to each other in ten years.

Ace Security is owned and run by triplet brothers Logan, Blake and Nathan, who created the security firm after their father was killed by their abusive mother, and their primary goal is to provide help and security for abused men.  At the time of writing this review, I read this story over a week ago and I don’t remember much about Logan at all, other than I thought his idea of creating a security company for abused men was brilliant.

Grace stood out more than Logan, but in her case that’s not a good thing.  She’s a nice woman and I was rooting for her to get her HEA with Logan, but I couldn’t relate to her.  I couldn’t understand why she didn’t just tell people what had been going on and then get in her car and go far, far away from her parents.  She’s been mentally and emotionally abused her entire life and yet, at the age of thirty, is still clinging to the hope that some day soon her parents will love her and let her go to live her own life.  As much as I hate to say this, sometimes she was a little too stupid to live.  She would acknowledge that she needed to be careful around her parents, but would then meet them alone in private places.

I have to say that as much as I hated them, her parents are the most memorable characters in this story.  They are so horrible, despicable and cruel that they deserve to be skinned alive for not only how they treated Grace, but how they treated everyone in the community.

CLAIMING GRACE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA that I will say was a little cheesy and unrealistic.  The ending also leads us into the second book which will be about Blake and Alexis.

Claiming Grace (Ace Security # 1)

My Rating:  

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Ace Security Series

Riot (Scarred Souls #4)

By Tillie Cole

Synopsis

Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona—the most subservient of the Arziani Blood Pit slaves.

Gorgeous and kind, she has been and under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug and under the command of the Blood Pit Master’s sister, Mistress Arziani, for most of her life, until the Master calls her back home to Georgia.

He wants her under his total control, and Master always gets what he wants.

But when 152 is gifted to the Blood Pit’s fearsome champion death match fighter as a prize, 152 suddenly finds out that the men who appear most brutal, may just own the kindest hearts. And love may be found, even when living in hell.

Freedom, family, love, 152 will have to fight for what she wants and ultimately make an impossible choice.

Review

Riot is one dark, intense and highly emotional read and at times I had to place this book down and regroup as some scenes are truly horrific and soul destroying.  In saying that the way the characters determination for finding their way from darkness to freedom made me devour this book.

I have not read the other books in the series but could easily follow the past and current storylines.  The author paced this book well and jumped time at parts to keep the story flowing and make sure the reader is not stuck in the darkness at highly emotional scenes for too long so I was thankful for that.

152 and 901 both broke my heart at times and I had such sadness for them and the last quarter of the book well hang on as it is a truly spine tingling read full of action and suspense.  I LOVED the ending as you are given hope, love and family and you definitely need it after the journey you go on.

I would love to read a story on Maya and Maxim as Maya was one of the lights of this book as she gave me hope for 152.

I am not a blood and guts type of girl but even I wanted to jump into the blood pit and slice Master’s head off and another part of this anatomy!  Master has to be one of the cruelest characters I have had to endure and he made my skin tingle with fear for the crazy and twisted man he was and I could never pick his next course of action throughout the book.

Quote: “You are the Arziani Pit Bull You are feared. But to me, you are safety”

Riot (Scarred Souls #4)

My Rating: 

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Sentinel’s Kiss (Sentinels of Babylon #2)

By Jamie K Schmidt

Synopsis

A fiercely protective bad boy. An innocent reporter in serious trouble. They shouldn’t work, but after he throws her onto his bike, there’s no going back.

If Josh Lehman learned one thing as a Green Beret, it’s patience. Josh founded the Sentinels of Babylon because he was sick and tired of watching scumbags cheat the system—scumbags like the man who murdered his sister. Of course, if Josh’s sniper rifle was linked to the death of his ex-brother-in-law, that might be a problem. The bigger problem is the nosy reporter who’s this close to exposing the club. Josh has to find a way to keep her hot mouth from talking . . . but he’ll be damned if he lets someone take her from him. Not on his watch.

Ashley Carver thought she’d do anything for a scoop. That was before her latest story leads to multiple attempts on her life. Ashley’s been investigating a homicide that has gone unsolved for five years when she uncovers evidence tying the vigilantes of the Sentinels of Babylon to a revenge killing. Now she’s in their crosshairs. But after Josh defies all notions of club loyalty to come to Ashley’s aid, soon they’re burning up the sheets—and taking on the world.

Review

Sentinel’s of Babylon or SOBs are a vigilante group that right wrongs that were dismissed by the legal system.   In Sentinel’s Kiss they are righting the murder of Sentinel’s sister, Sarah.  They know who killed her and are ready to act but they find out a reporter has come across new information. They decide there is more to this act of violence than mets the eye and must follow the clues.

Sentinel, or Josh, is a military man who is about to end his brother-in-laws life.  Josh knows that he killed his sister and her unborn child.  The SOB’s have done all their research and they are ready to complete this mission.  But right as they were ready to take the shot, Josh notices that Ashley was there to get an interview.  Josh knew that there was more to this story that he would have to track down.

Ashley Carver is a reporter always after to a good story no matter if her life is in danger or not. She is a daredevil with a solid heart.  Ashley is on the side of the facts. She isn’t looking for a long term relationship with Josh but they have instant chemistry.  There is something about Josh that helps calm her life.  She hasn’t had an easy go of it and deserves to start the next chapter of her life.

Sentinel’s Kiss has a good mystery to it.  Sarah’s murder leads to something deeper and ends up with a twist at the end.  Things aren’t always what they seem.  I loved all of the SOB’s.  I think that they all have an interesting story to tell.

Sentinel’s Kiss

My Rating:  4 Hearts

Buy Links:  AmazoniBooks

Visit Jamie K Schmidt:  Click here

Daddy’s Girl

By Isabella Starling & Demi Donovan

Synopsis

Every brat needs a Daddy.

Daddy’s tastes are naughty and rough,
finding the right girl has been tough.

Daddy’s had them all you see,
but his little girl is the one he can’t set free.

Now Daddy has a lovely pet,
a naughty toy that’s scared of every threat.

But brats are always hard to train,
and Daddy’s girl has earned the cane.

Time to break out the whips and chains,
get some blood pulsing through baby’s veins.

Think twice before you disobey,
pretty girls in tears make Daddy’s day…

Review

Daddy’s Girl has me torn in two, how can I devour a book that is just a little bit wrong and dirty? Well I read it in a day, could not put it down, knew It would be hard but you once you pick this up you will like me keep turning those pages wanting to know how it ends – I simply loved the ending.

Lily’s mother was one character that I truly wanted to hurt very badly and then Law, well words fail me on that man, he is demented and dangerous but wow when he is that erotic and dominating man within the dark walls of Lily’s life well – speechless.

The mystery of Lily’s family and then the other players in this underworld is astonishing and when you realise where she is being held – well I was shocked – I had to take a moment as I was horrified and just so angry.

Lily’s strength her way to adapt to her situation and her issues obviously with her own father – her back story was interesting and helped me understand her actions and emotions to her situation.

Daddy’s Girl

My Rating: 

Buy Links: Amazon

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Beastly (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 3)

By Michelle Irwin

Synopsis

Not all things are exactly as they appear.

Beau Miller thought his happily ever after had returned in the form of the girl with the seafoam eyes. He never expected a second heartbreak at her hand. 

When her father, Declan Reede, turns up with murder in his eyes, Beau discovers that the break-up might not have been what it seemed. He must solve the mystery if he’s to find his girl.  

How can he and Declan rescue their princess when she’s been taken by someone with beastly intentions? And will they make it in time?

Review

After the scary cliffhanger in PHOBIC, I knew I was going to be in for a rough ride in BEASTLY, but I had my fingers crossed hoping that it wouldn’t be as bad as I feared.  Sadly, it was.  But WOW…what a read!  My heart was pounding for four and a half hours straight as I read this non-stop from beginning to end, and this is definitely a book that you’ll be thinking about days later.

“No one cares that Phoebe’s missin’.  It’s like my heart’s been torn from my chest, and no one else realises the world stopped spinnin’ the moment she disappeared.”

I love Beau and he’s totally a keeper, but I will say that I wanted to strangle him for being so dumb.  Obviously we all know who has taken Phoebe, but he had his suspicions and never voiced them.  WTF???  I realise the story would have been super short if he had, but GRRRRRRR!  I felt bad for him when everyone suspected that he had something to do with Phoebe’s disappearance, because he wouldn’t hurt a fly.  I liked the bond he ended up having with Declan and I really look forward to seeing those two build on their relationship.  I think Declan knows that there is no better man for his little girl than Beau.  Although, I was getting an iffy feeling in the scenes involving Beau and Angel, and if Michelle is reading this, I hope she doesn’t go down “that” road.  I mean, I don’t want to tell an author what to do, but please don’t do “that”.

BEASTLY is told only in Beau’s POV and ends in a really sad cliffhanger, so have some tissues handy.  It cannot be read as a stand-alone, so you do need to read the first two books in the series before starting this one.  It’s usually nice to see Declan again, but it wasn’t this time and my heart broke for him when he realised who had his little girl and what had been done to her.  When it comes to Phoebe, we’ve only scratched the surface of what she suffered, and I think we’ll learn more about it all in PHYSIS, which comes out in April this year and will be told in her POV.

Please Note: This story contains scenes/topics that may be triggers for some people.

Beastly (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 3)

My Rating:  

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Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story Series