Haunted by Shari Nichols – Review & Giveaway

Haunted by Shari Nichols – Review & Giveaway

 

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HauntedAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
When medium Karly Matthews agrees to move into a haunted inn, she’s not sure what’s more dangerous, the ghost or the sexy innkeeper she tries to resist. She can’t deny the intense rush of desire she feels every time he’s near. When she agrees to embark on a no-strings-attached relationship, she finds herself thrust into a world of mind-blowing pleasures. Now she must face the aching truths of her past.

Hotel heir Thayne Harper has a laser-like focus on success that doesn’t include the help of his family. He’s always been the black sheep, living in the shadow of his dead brother. His dreams are put to the test when a supernatural entity threatens to ruin everything. The one bright spot is the woman who intrigues his mind and heats his blood. If only he can convince her that, despite his bad-boy ways, he can change for the good. Her love becomes his only salvation. Passion burns white-hot as a dark threat looms. The ghost doesn’t want them to be together and sets her sights on Thayne, luring him to a place that goes beyond death. Will Karly be able to save him before it’s too late?

 

Review:

A would-be one night stand that wasn’t. When that ship sails, it’s delicious fun to face each another anew in the most surprising of settings: employer and employee. Karly is a medium hired to clear Thayne’s ghost-laden hotel before opening night. Given their attraction, stronger than ever for proximity, never mind delayed gratification, who exactly is making those sounds that go bump in the night? Haunted by Shari Nichols explores supernatural events with hair-raising details and a red-hot love story.

“Well, this certainly complicates matters.” There was an edge to his voice. “Only if we let it.” And she wouldn’t, because she had no intention of seeing him again outside of these four walls. Rule number one: never, ever cross professional boundaries. Rule number two: constantly remind yourself of rule number one, especially if the client is hot as sin.”

Karly does all the preliminary work to ascertain the presence of ghosts, but when the sexual tension rises, and the haunting stems from a singular spectre, Karly aims full throttle to banish the ghost…and leave her unsatisfied fantasies behind. In her haste to remove herself from the temptation of Thayne, Karly aggravates the spirit, yeah, it went nowhere, and is forced to up her game. While this menacing ghost can doom his hotelier venture, it also ensures Karly remains on the premises…and face her avoidance issues with Thayne. Game on, indeed.

I enjoyed Haunted. There is ghost hunting and hotel business, but love is the central story. Ghosts and vengeance (human and inhuman alike!) spook and strike and generally vie for attention, but Thayne and Karly are haunted by each other. They navigate past insta-love pretty quickly, trusting that this feels too right to be superficial. It’s when things turn tempestuous that we witness our H/H build, and topple, their relationship. This tenacity to survive, to drive past hard lines, is what maintains their desire to fight another day.

Haunted is a sexy ghost story sure to keep you up well into the night.
Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

 

About The author

Shari NicholsShari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. Shari has been married to her own alpha hero for twenty-two years. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two teenagers, and her adoring golden retriever. Shari graduated from Rider University with a degree in Business Administration. After spending several years in the grind of Corporate America, she left to stay at home with her kids. Now she’s thrilled to spend her days in sweats, eating chocolate while pounding on her keyboard to create her next novel.

Her next book, Haunted, another steamy romance, will venture into the world of ghosts and haunted inns. Shari is a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers.

Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Instagram

 

giveaway

Shari Nichols is offering an e-copy of HAUNTED to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE Shari Nichols on Facebook

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway open internationally

9.. Giveaway runs from December 16-21, 2017

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Countdown by Carey Baldwin – a Review

Countdown by Carey Baldwin – a Review

 

CountdownAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
Don’t believe everything you see.

Special Agent Atticus Spenser and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy are in Tahiti enjoying a much-needed break from the FBI when they spot newlyweds taking fun photos on the beach. But as the groom carries his bride deeper into the waves, Spense is positive he sees a flash of terror cross her face. All his instincts scream that this woman is in danger. Yet moments later, it’s the groom who has nearly drowned… and the bride has vanished, leaving a bloody wedding dress floating in her wake.

The authorities aren’t sure who to believe—the groom, who insists his wife tried to murder him… or her twin, who claims her sister must have acted in self-defense. Intrigued, Spense and Caity agree to help investigate. But when they discover that the missing bride is the daughter of a notorious confidence man, they begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Now they’ll need to separate victim from villain, fact from fiction, truth from lie, to determine if there’s really a killer on the loose… or if it’s all one big con.

 

 

Review:

Countdown is the final installment of the fabulous Cassidy and Spenser Thrillers series by the wonderful, Carey Baldwin. I have had the tremendous pleasure of reading, and reviewing, this incredible series since its introduction, and this finale is Carey Baldwin‘s swan song to Atticus and Caitlin. It’s never easy to say goodbye to characters, but the joy they’ve brought me far outweighs the sadness.

Our dynamic duo finally arrives in Tahiti, their long-desired, always-postponed escape from duty, but the purpose is of grand proportion now: Spense and Caity are getting married! This destination wedding comes with a timetable/plans to abide by…but when our H/H happen upon a frisky bride and groom taking their free spirit out to deep waters, and the unconventional dip devolves into a near drowning, Caity and Spense find themselves torn between private citizen status and FBI profilers yet again.

As focused on their big day as they intended to be, Caity and Spense simply can’t overlook attempted murder in their idealic island. Rose and Tommy Preston, newlyweds, have a checkered past that only research and discovery can make decipher. Now, if only the bride hadn’t gone “missing”, things could go a little easier for Caity and Spense! Throw in Rose’s twin sister, Lilly, who has a past of her own with good ole Tommy, and the plot thickens. But even in the midst of chaos and confusion, unearthing details that lead to major revelations, there are stolen moments between Caity and Spense that bring a sense of peace, of pause and perspective, that love truly is the end all. When Caity reaches out to touch Spense after a harrowing moment or when Spense lets his gaze linger on Caity…that’s the stuff. That gut reassurance of devotion. Carey Baldwin has developed a tender love story, woven lovingly throughout the series, between two strong characters who’ve become a formidable combination. Who’ve forged an unforgettable partnership.

Not only will you scrutinize the actions of the twin sisters and find yourself glued to Tommy’s seedy behavior, seriously questioning good choices all around, but Ms. Baldwin brings back beloved characters who shone in the background while supporting our H/H. “The moms” are darling and committed to the cause, but Spense’s relationship with Dutch Langhorne in particular is proof of not squandering love. It warmed my heart to know Spense has someone else to rely on.

What makes newlyweds turn and spitefully twist on each other? Lines of loyalty are crossed and Caity and Spense determine that not all is what it appears to be. As the race to prove innocence lapses, murderous consequences hang in the balance. It is suspenseful and dramatic. Be prepared for face-palming, “smh”-ing, and even high-fives for getting shi# done!

Countdown dragged Caity and Spense away from ticking off all the wedding details, but their commitment to one another never wavered. Caity and Spense are perfect together and cases seem only to enhance their uniqueconnection. I bid them a fond farewell for all they’ve meant to me. Soooo…how will you wow us next, Ms. Baldwin?

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for Review

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Corsair’s Cove Chocolate Shop – The Complete Set (Volume 6) – Review

Corsair’s Cove Chocolate Shop – The Complete Set (Volume 6) – Review

 

Corsair's Cove Chocolate ShopAmazon

Description
The sweetest life is the one you make together … Corsair’s Cove has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the Pacific Northwest. It also has a way of drawing to itself the people who need it most—like the Blackthorne cousins. When Great Aunt Ruby passes and leaves them her chocolate shop, it comes with a few extras she forgot to tell them about—such as a talking parrot and a pirate ghost! Cursed by an angry ex, Daniel Blackthorne, the Wolf of the West, must help the last descendants of his family find true love before he’s banished forever on Hallowe’en night. But even a skilled sea captain will encounter heavy weather when he tries to get Prudence, Livy, Brynn, and Eloise—four cousins with everything but romance on their minds—into the arms of their soulmates before the clock strikes midnight

Review:

The lovely Sharon Ashwood, author of the terrific Four Horsemen and Camelot Reborn series, has collaborated with three equally fine authors, Lee McKenzie, Rachel Goldsworthy, and Shelley Adina to create a charming anthology series titled Corsair’s Cove Chocolate Shop. Set in a Pacific northwest town, four formerly inseparable cousins reunite, for lamentable reasons, to reestablish bonds and contemplate HEA. Not only are there paranormal elements nestled within the Blackthorne family folk tale, but the swoon-worthy love stories are sure to sweeten your life. Dive in to taste their calorie-free goods! 🙂

KISS AT THE COVE by Lee McKenzie

Prudence delivers Happily Ever Afters as a wedding planner and Spencer is a scientist who disproves the unfounded. What’s more confounding than love? How can this possibly work?

When great aunt, Ruby, the matriarch of the family, passes away, life is upended for Pru. Ruby’s untimely death ultimately brings to life plans for business expansion that Pru had always envisioned, but it’s unseemly to rejoice. Just when opportunity presented itself,

“Ruby had been wise to name all four cousins in the will, even if Pru hadn’t seen that at first. And what better way to remind the cousins of their bond than to physically bring them together in Corsair’s Cove.”

Amid the uncertainty of livelihood, and common goals gone awry, Pru gets a “crash course” in all things romantic. Spencer is on a sabbatical of sorts, mostly affecting matters of the heart, and when he makes contact with Pru, swearing off women sounds like the most preposterous of plans. This pair works. It’s an effortless attraction that may, or may not, have been given a supernatural shove in the right direction.

KISS IN THE WIND by Rachel Goldsworthy

The romance continues to build with Pru’s cousin, Livy, a food chemist, newly arrived to honor Aunt Ruby’s wishes. When she meets Mack, local tavern owner, real salt of the earth kind of guy, relocating to Corsair’s Cove was practical magic!

While this love story may have simmered a bit longer than the first, there was immediate impact upon meeting. Chill-inducing energy!

Can two independents step outside of their own comfort zones to make a go of collaboration? Enchantment inside and outside the kitchen is much more than chemistry!

KISS ON THE BEACH by Shelley Adina

The third novella involves another Blackthorne descendant, Brynn, and her unrequited high school crush, Jamie. Jamie is a homebody who stuck around after high school, built a name for himself in carpentry, and envisioned his future dream home, albeit harbored. You see, he’s pined after Brynn for time immemorial.
When Brynn arrives in Corsair’s Cove to settle her share of Aunt Ruby’s estate, something akin to a dine-and-dash act, life takes on new perspective. Surrounded by family, enveloped in quaint town magic, when did she become so adverse to HEA?

“It was as though she was a part of something larger than herself. Part of a heritage that actually belonged to her. Something else she’d never thought about before. It was this place. Give the Cove an inch, and it took a mile, darn it.”

Brynn’s return has certainly stirred up old feelings for Jamie. An executive though she might be, her demeanor belies an inner turmoil. A longing, Jamie hopes, to preserve tradition, to create new memories with her cousins…and to finally set fire to their romantic spark of old.

KISS IN THE DARK by Sharon Ashwood

The quartet of this lovely series, and sexiest, delves deeper into the Blackthorne curse (excellent paranormal activity!) and the details of his sin. A crime of passion as it were, but Daniel Blackthorne, the legendary pirate ghost himself, has the opportunity to break said curse and, surprisingly enough, find some HEA of his own.

Eloise, the “flake of the family”, arrives with a lot to prove. Fresh out of business school, she’s tasked to promote a fundraising ball that will enhance the shop’s productivity as well as sustainability. Discovering her spectral roommate is none other than Daniel Blackthorne, the legend, the heart of Corsair’s Cove, their lives become entwined forevermore.

Will Eloise yield to the charms of a ghost (the undead have game, trust me!) and undo the blight clinging to him or will a nefarious character shatter hope and bring ultimate despair?

Not only are the love stories delectable, but each author is allowing her main character, a grand-niece, the ability to reconnect with Aunt Ruby; to make peace as she designed. The touch of paranormal, we are talking about ghosts after all, shifts and develops with every novella. You’ll enjoy every revelation, every step to victory. Corsair’s Cove came to life with every author’s depiction. Every sweet and savory concoction sampled at Red Gem’s Chocolate and Confections sounds as tantalizing as pirate Blackthorne himself. Beginning to end — a thoroughly tasty treat!

~~~~~

But wait! What’s that I hear?? Why wedding bells, of course! Pru and Spencer are near solidifying their unending love when ghosts, of course ghosts!, return to haunt Corsair’s Cove.

A revival of Pru’s history at the altar does not a marriage make. What could possibly prevent this promise of forever? Cold feet? Too easy. All the answers are available in Kiss at the Altar, each sweet chapter an author cooperative. Line forms here for Corsair’s Cove Orchard series!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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Against All Odds by Jezz de Silva – a Review

Against All Odds by Jezz de Silva – a Review

 

Against All OddsAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
The bomb ticking inside Abigail Williams has shadowed every moment of her adult life. With the timer counting down, Abi embarks on one final adventure into theAustralian outback before returning to L.A. to fight for her life.

Sergeant Ryder Harper survived over a decade in Australia’s most elite military unit. He’s ready to hang up his assault rifle and drag what’s left of his broken body back home. He dreads the long flight back to Brisbane, until he collides with the stubborn, maddening seductress sitting beside him.

Abi ignites a need deep inside Ryder, leaving him desperate for more time with this woman with mesmerizing eyes and an even more intoxicating spirit. But when Abi finally relents to Ryder’s offer to be her outback guide, she has one condition: When it’s time, he’ll have to let her go.

 

Review:

Against All Odds. Anyone remember the movie – the namesake song within the movie? I barely do, but it’s hardly necessary when reading this powerhouse of emotion. Escapism might be the initial common bond for these two strangers, but HEA is their unexpected miracle. Jezz de Silva‘s debut novel, Against All Odds, tells a mighty love story derived of hope and promise. They go hand in hand and blessedly held forever.

Abi’s future is so bleak, she’s created a bucket list to complete in a once in a lifetime trip to Australia. But when her window-seat neighbor offers her an authentic tour of the Outback only a native can claim, who knew her heart would be the ultimate sacrifice? There’s steam, and plenty of it, but you’ll get swept up by Ryder and Abi’s instant connection, their shared sensibilities, their natural communication. A good writer makes baring their souls as provocative as shedding their clothes.

Ryder is a man’s man. He’s gained notoriety in his home country, as well as the States, for exemplary service. But while Ryder may have received military honors, his unflinching bravery shines upon discovering Abi’s personal battle. In spite of their two week friendship, Ryder’s heart unquestionably beats alongside Abi’s. Ryder’s new mission may not be on the battlefield, but failure is not an option: He wants Abi, heart and soul.

Insta-love isn’t rational, but matters of the heart seldom are.

“It didn’t make sense, it was impossible, it was crazy, it was suicidal, but love wasn’t meant to be understood.”

I loved Abi and Ryder. They fought different wars, but virulent enemies all the same. When there appeared little hope, the unexpected jettisoned complacency and proposed a few more adventures. Bravo to Mr. de Silva for delivering an impactful , inspirational love story. Write on…I’m reading!

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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Famous by Jenny Holiday – a Review

Famous by Jenny Holiday – a Review

 

FamousAmazon / B&N / Kobo

Description:
Everyone knows her face. He knows her heart.

Emerson Quinn is famous. Girls want to be her. Boys want to date her. Each record outsells the last. All that remains is to continue transitioning her brand from its teenage fan base to a more mature, diverse audience. So she’s under strict orders to play nice with her army of assigned co-songwriters and to knock off the serial dating that keeps landing her in the tabloids. If she follows instructions, she can look forward to an indefinite run at the top of the celebrity ecosystem. There’s only one problem with this plan: Emerson is miserable.

So she runs away, impulsively fleeing her L.A. life and heading for a small Iowa college town where a guy she once knew lives. He’s the only person in the world she can think of who might be enough of a nerd to not know about Emerson Quinn the brand. Who might be willing to provide a haven where she can lay low and write her new album by herself, on her own terms.
  
Art history professor Evan Winslow knows a thing or two about leaving your past behind. He’s worked hard to establish himself far from the spotlight of his infamous father. He’s up for tenure soon, which will mean job security for life. All he has to do to lock down his hard-won, blessedly quiet existence is keep his head down.

Too bad the most famous pop star in the world—who also happens to be his long-lost muse—has just shown up on his doorstep.


Review:

When Evan and Emmy first meet, he’s running away from attention and she’s running toward it. Seven years later, their paths reconvene in the “straight lines and right angles” of Iowa, “No twists and turns. Nothing and no one lurking unexpectedly behind a bend in the road. No blind spots.” Will such luxury of independence serve Emmy’s song-producing needs? And what of Evan’s newly-invaded heart, because Emmy whirls in and intensifies all his repressed emotions. Jenny Holiday is “Famous“, *wink, wink* for introducing wonderful characters whose lives she upends only to make them more life-affirming. Gotta love an author like this!

Emmy made her dreams come true, she’s a massive star, but when the music industry begins churning her into a machine, she tries to escape the “Famous” lifestyle she ambitiously created. Evan wishes he could resume his creativity that was deprived him by the sins of his father. Although struggling within an artistic spectrum, Evan and Emmy are more in tune than not. Surprisingly, and selflessly, Evan and Emmy don’t despair over their plights; seeking only to support each other’s goals. Their talents are reenergized in each other’s stasis.

When things turn romantic, as they’re clearly headed (I know I wanted it!), uncertainty overrides emotion. In an effort to achieve her most sought after independence, Emmy’s decreed a moratorium on dating. Evan, honorable dude that he is, abides by her wishes…and battles his burgeoning desires. This may, or may not, make them irritable. But it only enhances their communication. Jenny Holiday moonlights as a part-time therapist, I’m sure. 😉

“But, amazingly, the odd stiffness between them wasn’t enough to extinguish the attraction between them.”

Internal chaos turns innocuous Iowa into a catalyst for two uneasy souls. “The sense that even though everything was orderly and tidy, this was also, paradoxically, a place where anything could happen.” Famous is a beautiful love story that launches a watershed moment to epic proportions. Emmy and Evan weren’t unhappy, but complacent and ultimately compromising their potential. Shared sensibility and compassion inspired them to ask for more. Emmy and Evan surmounted a mountain of more.

On a fun note, I had likened Emmy and Evan to Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel from Safe Haven. But when Emmy was going on about how college girls must be dying to get into Evan’s class, I immediately thought of Indiana Jones and the student with her eyelids declaring devotion. Picture whomever you’d like, maybe even Taylor Swift? ;D. Just know that you’re in for some steamy scenes. Yeah, so not complaining.

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy supplied for review

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Catching the Cowgirl by Jennie Marts – a Review

Catching the Cowgirl by Jennie Marts – a Review

 

Catching the CowgirlAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
California video game designer Adam Clark knows that, in his business, authenticity is the key. So, for their newest Western adventure game, he and his partners decide to try out Cowboy Camp. Only Adam’s friends never arrive, leaving him a bit—okay, a lot—preoccupied, trying to resist the gorgeous cowgirl who owns the ranch.

Single mom Skye Hawkins is too busy trying to keep her family’s dude ranch out of the red to even think about romance. But she’s having trouble avoiding Adam. He’s smart, he’s sweet, he’s funny…and he’s hot! Maybe it’s the mountain air, but she finds herself letting down her guard. And the fireworks are definitely worth it.

The only problem—they live in totally different worlds. Still, Adam is nothing if not resourceful. Sure, he wants to catch the cowgirl. But more importantly, he needs to find a way to keep her.

 

Review:

It wasn’t Adam’s idea to immerse himself in all things dude ranch for video game inspiration, but once he saw Skye, the proprietor, a week long visit was ingenious! Preparation’s sake and all that, 😉 Skye’s been burned by a wanderer, so her guard flies up, no matter how dang cute Adam is. Can two opposites handle a guilt-free, week-long dalliance or will priorities shift and align with new purpose? Jennie Marts brings Colorado to life with this very possibility in Catching the Cowgirl, book 3 of her Cotton Creek series.

Adam may announce his outsider/city boy status with awful, pointy snakeskin boots, but his computer engineer brain, and nerdy looks, attract Skye like no one ever has. Skye’s inherited the ranch, is running herself ragged with daily tours, and single-handedly raising a teenager, so she’s fighting feelings and resisting Adam as hard as she can.

“She was a no-nonsense, take-charge, get-things-done kind of girl.  There was one person she could count on and it was herself.  She didn’t have time to waste on fantasies of a knight in shining armor riding in, sweeping her up on his stallion, and kissing her senseless.”

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love, wasn’t quite sure his attraction for Skye wasn’t insta-lust, but this cowgirl upended Adam’s life, and he couldn’t be happier. The gushy emotions were rare, but heartfelt and momentous. How’d that happen so fast?

“He’d thought he was just attracted to her, but now he knew it was more.  Everything on him screamed that this was a bad idea.  He lived a life of logic and practicality.  And there was nothing logical about falling for a cowgirl who lived not only in another state, but in a whole other world.”

Plans of stability go awry in this sweet romance, but its serendipitous outcome is the stuff of HEA. Catching the Cowgirl was a lovely story about two people willing to step outside their compartmentalized lives and thrive on the unexpected.  

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

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Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood – a Review

 

Royal EnchantmentAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
She married the king. She wanted the man. 

Guinevere’s marriage to Arthur was a political partnership, never a romance. Merlin knows that the king’s court, newly restored at a medieval theme park, will only be complete if Arthur has his lady. Little did anyone suspect that once Guinevere gets a taste of twenty-first-century freedoms that this ancient queen would lose interest in belonging to any man—even a royal one. 

It takes a dragon, and some passionate nights spent in each other’s arms, to lure her back to her husband’s side. Arthur is willing to accept Gwen’s help in protecting the new Camelot from a fae menace, but the bigger challenge will be wooing back Guinevere for a second chance at love…


Review:

King Arthur is an impressive character to be sure, but until now, author Sharon Ashwood has kept him in the background of her Camelot Reborn series. Operative phrase being until now. Welcome, Arthur Pendragon, share your fabled story…tell us why your queen is so bitter towards you…just how responsible you are for the instability in your marriage… Thank you, Ms. Ashwood, for illuminating truths with painful insight and divine forgiveness. Royal Enchantment is book three of the series, but do go in order for each is a journey to love.

Despite the separation/distance between Arthur and Guinevere, there are so many pent up emotions, such repressed honesty, it takes little time before issues are boiling up, surfacing to near explosion. After the “stone sleep”, the marriage becomes an uneasy truce they strike and you’ll find yourself looking forward to their heated exchanges! “Give Arthur something to conquer, and he was in his element”. When that person is none other than Guinevere, “his greatest vulnerability wrapped in an exquisite female form”, tactical measures are paramount to peaceful coexistence.

Arthur wants Gwen, the queen of Camelot, at his side. That’s wonderful considering how strained their marriage had become due to long, repeated absences in the name of duty. But awaking Gwen from the stone sleep into the 21st century, exposed to new culture and equal education for women, goes over Arthur’s head.

“How does that matter? You’re the queen of Camelot. What more could you desire?”

Back to the gilded cage it is. Well, hell…No! Gwen wants to atone for previous indiscretions (Lancelot, anyone?) for lapses in judgment, but Arthur needs to give her the time, and attention, to make such reparations. Not “consigning her to a life of embroidery and love poems”. Courtship after the marriage? As unconventional as it may be, equanimity is vital to regain trust.

While trying to right his own wrongs, Arthur is also facing magical sabotage. A nefarious character is methodically releasing chaos, unleashing dragon mayhem, and manipulating the supernatural contract of fae creatures to usurp the crown of Queen LaFaye while “temporarily” unoccupied. It was all a delight to read, but the powerful subtext of unity and healing was the optimal joy.

Ms. Ashwood does a magnificent job of creating balance between two formidable forces. When Arthur seems immovable, Gwen acquiesces. If Gwen exhorted her fiery temper, Arthur suddenly succumbed to reason. They slowly, but gracefully, owned their respective roles and compromised as necessary. Between the volleys, and balking, genuine love persevered.

I’ve long stated that my knowledge of Camelot is limited, but this series has deepened my understanding and with it my appreciation. Brilliant secondary characters shine in their wit and camaraderie (book 4, Enchanter Redeemed, screams Merlin, does it not?), the boon of Excalibur having magical deterrence as gifted by the Lady of the Lake, the Forest Sauvage and its plethora of fantastic beasts. How can I not be “royally enchanted” — every book is a gem!  Ms. Ashwood details so splendidly, you’ll smell a dragon’s puff of smoke, hear the clanging of metal as Excalibur lands its mighty blow, touch the cavern walls as hero after hero emerges to face threats. But most importantly, you’ll feel the love spanning centuries between King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. Another wonderful book to a dazzling series!

Reviewed by Carmen

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The Rancher and the City Girl by Joya Ryan -a Review

The Rancher and the City Girl by Joya Ryan -a Review

 

The Rancher and the City GirlAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Rancher and single father Tripp Montgomery is a master at French braiding and princess tea parties. He’s also the most eligible bachelor in Cheyenne, Wyoming. So when he stumbles upon a flashy, sexy city girl, he knows two things: 1) she’s a walking disaster, and 2) he needs to stay far, far away.

But she needs him more than he wants to admit…

Charlotte Gram knows what it’s like not to be wanted. She’s in Cheyenne for the summer to help her grandmother heal after surgery, but the farmhouse “chores” are proving much harder than she thought. If her day couldn’t get any worse, the sexiest man she’s ever seen strolls up to save the day…

…and he definitely doesn’t seem happy about it.

 

Review:

The origin of the Dedication Page was already swoon-worthy. Sounds like Joya Ryan wrangled up her very own cowboy, and that kind of firsthand experience is money for a fan. Tripp and Charlotte are strangers who indulge in a hot moment they desperately needed. When their paths collide anew, despite their mutual agreement to keep it to a singular spectacular event, does a second time automatically lead to Happily Ever After? Ms. Joya writes a bumpy love story in The Rancher and the City Girl that warms your heart and heats your senses.

Wyoming is a far cry from California, but Charlotte is in town to look after farm duties while her grandmother recovers from ankle surgery. Tripp is an overprotective, single dad who’s so focused on limiting his daughter’s outside influences, he negates his own happiness, thereby ignoring fulfillment of his own.

I understand Tripp’s reluctance to allow Charlotte into his life. Charlotte is in town for only a short while and he’s concerned that his daughter is already too attached; that she’ll be crushed when she goes. He’ll be damned if a temporary fling will cause upheaval in his stable home. But the truth is, Charlotte knows all about loss, and her influence is far from detrimental. Far be it from Charlotte, however, who has learned to fend for herself, her independence wrought fiercely, to share her demons. Could Charlotte give up Los Angeles, knowing it’s good for her career, just because Trip makes her feel whole again? Who will win this battle of wills? To lose would be a tremendous loss.

Joya Ryan writes about letting go and letting people in. There was so much heart behind what amounts to fear, you can’t help but forgive. This was a quick, fun read with genuine emotion. While steam will emanate from your device, the bedroom scene, in particular, was next level depth. *tingles*

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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