Tag Archives: Series

Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5)

By Maya Banks

Synopsis

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…
 

They live by night.

Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline—an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister—has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is fast running out…

Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He’s unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he’s fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time…hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it’s pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.

Review

Echoes at Dawn is another favourite book of mine in this series as the connection between Rio and Grace can be felt almost immediately.  These two characters are both strong, Rio in body and Grace in mind although when they meet Grace is at her lowest and Rio is her warrior.

The rescue mission in the Colorado mountains and also at the end of this book are two reasons why I love this story.  It is so action packed and really well written and I can imagine all these scenes so clearly in my mind and then we get to Rio’s compound in the jungle and again it was like I was there upon the pages with these two.

Elizabeth was an interesting addition and the ending was so romantic and tied up very nicely.

Grace and Shea’s connection and their history is further revealed along with Resnick’s part and we can now move on from their story after starting in book 4 and finishing here.

Rio’s team were also great characters and the way they connected and protected Grace was perfect and Hancock well he has so many questions surrounding him and provided surprise towards the end.

Interesting also that the Kelly’s are not overly in this story, only in the last part of this story, they are more a back drop as this really is centred with Grace and Rio and I loved that.

Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5)

My Rating: 

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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:  

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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

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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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Shutter speed: A Snapshot Novella

By Freya Barker

Synopsis

She likes picking up her camera because it allows her to see things through a different lens. Like when she lost her job recently and instead of focusing on what she’s forced to leave behind, she zooms in on the new options opening up in front of her. Or when a dangerous looking silver fox comes rolling up her path on a FatBoy, and her digital output shows a deep loneliness, matching her own, in his ice-blue eyes.
But when she’s working on making her dreams come true, she inadvertently captures something in her viewfinder she can’t un-see.

He wasn’t supposed to be here, but he can’t seem to escape his old life. Stuck in an old trailer in the mountains, he walks a fine line between ruse and reality. With the arrival of a young-looking pixie—who turns out to be a full grown, hot-blooded woman—his balance is thrown.
He tries to avoid her, but with the little pixel peeper snapping everything in sight, she unintentionally risks his exposure.

And his focus needs to be sharp to keep her from danger.

Review

Shutter speed is a novella that has a lot of suspense to it.  Definitely set the story up between Ben and Isla.

Isla is taking over the campground for her Uncle who is going to take care of her ailing Aunt. She has a passion for photography which just might get her into trouble.

Ben is trying to move onto the next chapter in his life but he keeps getting dragged back.  The first time he sees Isla he knows there is something special about her but in his current line of work the best thing to do is push her away.  But Isla is very good at being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Ben must work hard at achieving his goals and keeping her safe.

Shutter speed sets this up to be a thrilling series.  I look forward to the next chapter in Ben and Isla’s story.

Shutter speed

My Rating:  

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Perfect Imperfections

By J & L Wells

Synopsis

At the age of 27, Natasha is just a few months away from marrying her long-term boyfriend, Josh. Suddenly, he is called out of the country to take over the running of his father’s business. While he’s away, Natasha arranges a surprise wedding present for him – a portrait of herself.

The handsome artist who agrees to paint the portrait is Gabriel Owens, a gifted painter who is partially sighted. He is sarcastic and brash, and Natasha finds herself always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

It turns out that Josh isn’t the perfect fiancé that Natasha believed him to be and she is left reeling, her life in free fall. Does Gabriel have the tenacity and inner strength to pick up the pieces when he himself has so many insecurities and his own life is far from perfect?

Perfect Imperfections is the first book in the Moments series. It’s an emotional story, which can be read as a standalone novel. You won’t find a cliffhanger here, but instead a heartfelt ending that definitely won’t disappoint.

Review

My thoughts are torn on this book, the first half I found slow and dragged for me and yet the second half I loved and thank god for Gabriel as he saved this story for me.

During the first half I did not feel a connection with Tash, her sister was annoying and then her relationship with her fiancé Josh for me was very immature and lacked depth when they had been together for 10 years.  Her thoughts on marriage I did not understand until later on after her moment with her mother so for her to one minute say she felt smothered then be all sulking and missing Josh when he was away on business, I kind of found her annoying.

The story picked up for me when Gabriel enters but I think his time should have been fleshed out more and have less of Tash and her family dramatics which got annoying. Some chapters just did not flow well for me and the speed of the story was not constant it had real dips where I felt I was getting no where in the story having to deal with her sisters drama, her mothers drinking and her dad’s gardening and then we are all of a sudden going too fast and I wanted more detail of Gabriel, Josh and Michelle.  This was Tash’s story and yet all these other characters were to me highjacking the story.

Did not feel an emotional connection to Tash until Josh’s work party where his double cross was revealed and then when she meets Josh that day in her parents house and her secret is revealed. Now onto the time line for that, I was really upset it jumped so far ahead and then her whole story was lightly mentioned in her memory of what happened while she was on the cruise – again I wanted a bit more detail.

Now one section I found riveting was Michelle’s disclosure to Tash at the wedding and then the realisation by Tash of how Josh really acted during her relationship, again I felt this was really pivotal and she does not have a confrontation with Josh?

The Christmas chapter after the wedding was beautiful and very emotional and the recollection with her Nan and her moment of opening her eyes was truly beautiful and well written.  Her family bringing Christmas to her with Gabriel was lovely.

Honestly I think some chapters from Gabriel POV would have helped at significant moments in this story, when she is sitting for wedding portrait, when dad visits him and he races to find her in park, the Christmas after the wedding, I mean it was all Tash and her family drama and it wore me down in the end.  

I loved the ending and it does tie everything up for this stage of their lives. 

Perfect Imperfections

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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Bounty (Colorado #7)

By Kristen Ashley

Synopsis

Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty.

Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more.

And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.

Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.

Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.

When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.

But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.

When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.

Review

Bounty, #7 of the Colorado Mountain is another great addition to this series. Now in all honesty it is not my favourite however I have always wanted to read a story on Deke.  Deke is a character that has stayed with me especially as he has played a role at significant moments in other books in this series. He was with Lauren in Sweet Dreams #2, hence he and Tate have that connection and I must say Tate delivered one of my most favourite parts of this whole series.  Tate stood back in his alpha male way and monitored Justice to make sure she was going to fit his friend and then how he cares for Justice at her most critical and highly emotional part in this whole story just brought tears to my eyes – I fell in love with Tate all over again. Deke also made a connection with me in Lady Luck with Lexie and also Breathe with Faye – I mean this man is an enigma – he is a traveller and in this book he found his Gypsy.

Another favourite moment was when Deke races to the police station and realises his emotional connection and need to protect Justice. Their love grew deeper and I kept returning to that poignant moment as for Deke it truly was his realisation of his need for this woman and he then became her warrior. I thought the part when Justice explained her old truck to Deke was beautiful and made you understand Justice’s inner thoughts on her life.

Now Joss rocked as her mother and another favourite character was Mr T – he was brilliant especially the way he cared about Justice. Can I say Krystal and Bubba as parents – OMG what an amazing little story in Bounty for them and I loved the name.

So my only complaint is that I really felt that all the characters from books 1 to 6 kind of got thrown into this story just for the hell of it – however perhaps the author was trying to show how they all have their own Bounty?  I really do not think it was needed and at times I was like – ok the whole gang is here – say hello and all go home as I want to get back to Deke and Justice. I would have been fine with her making the friendship connection with everyone at Bubba’s as that made sense, she sang and drank there and also Sunny and Shambles as they were the first to realise who she was when she moved to the town and I can understand Chance being a major player considering the dramatic situations that occur to Justice at her home. So many return characters and it just wore me down however I am very interested that at the end of the book it tells us that Woods and Maggie are coming as I felt really sorry for Woods when he lost out on Lauren to Tate – although I am team Lauren and Tate all the way !!

The ending was just perfection, it really did confirm to me they are kindred spirits both wanting and needing the road – I could have read more on Deke and Justice and would have loved to see a little Gypsy baby.

Bounty (Colorado #7)

My Rating: 

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