Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan – a Review

Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan – a Review

 

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Description:
Elliot Smith has trained hard to live alone and work alone, even when it comes to her job as a security specialist for JCL Security. No relationships, no ties, except the one to the man who kidnapped and murdered her mother. She’ll do anything to kill Martin Diako, the untouchable South African pirate king. When Deacon Walsh walks into her office, she finally sees a chance to do just that.

Deacon went from soldier to mercenary warrior to stay-at-home dad, and now his past is back to haunt him. Martin Diako, the father of the terrorist Deacon killed two years ago, is coming for revenge, and he has his sight set on Deacon’s daughter. An heir for an heir. Deacon will do anything to protect her, even if it means asking for help. But the security team he’s hired comes with an added complication: the only woman to interest him since his wife died.

Deacon always leads his team, and Elliot protects hers. They might have one chance at their enemy—if they can work together. Will their hunger for each other pull them together, or push them apart?

Review:

Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan is the 4th book in her Southern Nights series.  I’ve read a few of these books from the series already, and they don’t need to be read in order, but a little background on the secondary characters is always a plus.

Elliot Smith is part of an elite team of soldiers, she had to work hard to get where she is and she loves it, her team are her family, but she hides a dark and shameful secret, and only Dain (her leader) knows the full extent.

Deacon leads a different team, and we start his story two years previous; it’s a routine mission at first, but then descends into chaos, as his mission goes from retrieval to kill. He loses one member of his own team, an innocent, and for a little while he goes home to care for his wife and daughter and to mourn one of his close friends and team mate.

Jumping to the present we find out that Deacon has lost his wife to cancer and is being stalked by the dead man’s father. The pirate king wants revenge and only the death of Deacons daughter will satisfy him.
So Deacon calls for back up in the form of a security firm that Dain and his team work for. (This security firm was featured in previous books).  As soon as Deacon and Elliot meet …… the sparks fly, and she puts him on his butt literally.

Deacon thinks Elliot is a weakness, that the team baby and protect her. She soon puts him in his place, to the amusement of her team and Deacon’s best friend. But she earns his begrudging respect, is assigned a place on the team; her job will be to look after his daughter (Elliot is horrified at the idea, she doesn’t relate to young kids)

The sparks between them are almost instant, but Elliot doesn’t know how to act on them, the last time she slept with someone, they “disappeared” from the camp she was trained in. She’s a social misfit, she doesn’t know how to interact with outsiders, her family is the team of soldiers.

All the characters are well written, and the story is full of action and suspense, and throw in a few betrayals and you have a well written and exciting read.

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy supplied for review

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Legacy Lost by Jillian David – a Review

Legacy Lost by Jillian David – a Review

 

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Description:
he melding of the contemporary western with paranormal elements—think Big Valley meets Alphas—makes for a compelling, fresh mix for Jillian David’s sophomore series.

Growing up as an honorary Taggart, Eric Patterson found the family he’d always wanted. Almost. He couldn’t ever manage to see the clan’s youngest and only daughter, stubborn spitfire Shelby, quite like a little sister. Suddenly, his long-suppressed feelings are determined to come to light.

Too bad Shelby’s cursed. Her double whammy psychic powers to read emotions and locate anyone anywhere have always made relationships impossible—and now they’ve begun to endanger her life. If she uses her echolocation skills again, it just might kill her.

But when a malevolent supernatural force invades the valley, threatening the Taggarts and their neighbors, the Brands, Eric and Shelby must contend with both their blossoming feelings and the increasing danger. Does Shelby dare risk using her powers one more time, sacrificing her own life to save Eric?

 

 

Review: 

Legacy Lost by Jillian David is the 2nd book in her Hell’s Valley series.  This can be read without reading the first book ( Legacy of Lies), but as there are characters from the first book, and an underline story going on, I would recommend you read the first book first. 

Legacy Lost is set a few weeks after the last book. I won’t give any details away, but it does explain a few things in this book. 

Shelby has a gift, she calls it a curse, she has the ability to “find” people, she is able to locate anyone, so it’s a great help in her second job, a search and rescue member. But this “gift” has a price, with it comes terrible headaches and more recently temporary blindness! But it doesn’t stop Shelby from using it. And in addition she has the ability to feel people’s emotions ! So Shelby tends to keep to herself, relationships for her are too painful, to feel her partners feelings, their regrets and heaven forbid, if it was a horrible experience for him, she would get all those feelings. 

All Eric has wanted since his family left him, was for somebody to love, and finding and making friends with Shelby’s brother gave him that family to care for, the only blip on his horizon …… Shelby. Eric has loved her for ages, but he can’t get past his letting go of his rigid control to tell her how he feels, and past the “friend” label Shelby has saddled him with. 

Eric has no knowledge of Shelby’s gift until it was revealed in book one. And when he does, he’s angry and hurt, he always thought he was family, but family doesn’t keep secrets from each other. 

Things take a passionate turn when Shelby almost dies; this spurs Eric’s feelings into action. And from there they struggle with their feelings. Will Eric let go of his rigid control and let Shelby set the pace for their relationship? Will Shelby let all her guards down and truly let someone in? 

Things keep happening to the Taggart family,and the Brand family are a big part of the problem. And I have a feeling it’s only going to escalate. 

There is a connection to the last book, and it just adds more questions to my list. But it’s a good read, the mystery surrounding the family, and if you’ve read some of  David’s other books, you’ll notice a few old characters. That was a lovely surprise. 

I’m loving this series and can’t wait to read more about the scary force trying to kill the Taggart family, and the rest of the Taggart men finding their women 😉

Reviewed by Julie B

Copy supplied for review

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Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

Bedchamber Games by Tracy Anne Warren – Review & Interview

 

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Description:
In this irresistible romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Happily Bedded Bliss, appearances can deceive, but the heart is not so easy to fool…
 
Rosamund Carrow has spent years learning the law by assisting her barrister father, despite the frustrating truth that the profession is closed to women. When he dies unexpectedly, necessity compels her to disguise herself as a man so she can step into the courtroom to finish his cases. She’s willing to put her reputation at risk, but she never expects that the greatest peril will be to her heart…
 
Lord Lawrence Byron is a rising star in London’s legal circles, despite his reputation as an unrepentant rakehell. When an upstart young barrister defeats him in court, he’s determined to discover everything he can about his rival. He’s stunned when he uncovers the shocking secret that his new opponent is actually a beguiling, brilliant woman…one he can’t help but want in his bed. Passion draws them together as they break all the rules, but it may lead to something more lasting—like love…

 

 

 

Review:

Diving back into The Rakes of Cavendish series by Tracy Anne Warren is a decadent delight! Bedchamber Games is the 3rd book and lamentable final installment. Never fear, there is much to love, and vicariously derive, from the exciting lives of Lawrence and Rosamund. This is a re-imagined Mulan. An intelligent woman with an affinity for law, but disallowed to practice as a barrister (thanks, 19th century England), disguises herself as a man to bring her late father’s cases to conclusion. When opposing counsel, the very handsome Lawrence, discovers Rosamund’s deceit, does he oust her or does he collude, allowing alternate forms of compensation for his silence?

“For now that he knew Ross Carrow was a woman, he had to decide how to proceed.  After all, there was a fraud at large, one who was most definitely in need of unmasking.”

The facade is going well, Rosamund adheres to the style and demeanor of men, but at some point I was starting to wonder if Lawrence wasn’t harboring some latent homosexual tendencies; so entranced was he by the developing friendship, his desire to engage with this intriguing fellow so frequently. Please take no umbrage to my suspicions because Lawrence’s reaction to Rosamund’s reveal was all male (if not a bit of relief, lol!)

Was it “misguided hubris” that was Rosamund’s ultimate demise? Or was it Lawrence’s keen eye, and heart, that forced an end to the charade. Whatever the case may be, Ms. Warren detailed a swoon-worthy, albeit clandestine, courting. Rosamund continued to fool the public and to remain aloof in Lawrence’s company, but it only served to heighten the anticipation; allowing them luxurious passion in the time they secured away from prying eyes. But it’s not without some much needed agony to earn its HEA. It’ll stop your heart, bring forth tears, and make you appreciate it all the more. Great writing runs the gamut of emotions.

As a highly satisfied reader, games in all sorts of chambers are welcomed when Ms. Warren is at the helm. I am concerned, however, that at 100% completion of my ARC, my screen read “Teaser TK 8 pages”. I’m desperate to find out if this was reference to an epilogue? Ms. Warren, if you would be so kind as to illuminate this fan? 😉

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

 

 

Interview-Gold

TRC: Hi Tracy.  Welcome back to The Reading Café.  

Tracy:  Thanks! It’s great being back at The Reading Café. I always enjoy having the chance to talk to readers and I’m excited to discuss my newest book, Bedchamber Games.

TRC: Bedchamber Games was recently released, which is the 3rd book in your The Rakes of Cavendish Square series. For those of who have not read this series, can you please tell us the premise of Rakes of Cavendish Square?

Tracy:  The books in the series are linked by way of the heroes – each with a well-earned reputation as a rake – who happen to live on the same street, Cavendish Square. In the three novels, readers get to enjoy seeing how each of these unrepentant rakes meets his match – and the love of his life. The stories also tell how the last three Byron siblings – Leo, Lawrence and Esme – from the Byrons of Braebourne series find their happily-ever-afters.

Bedchamber GamesTRC: Can you please give us a brief description of Bedchamber Games?

Tracy:  Rosamund Carrow knows the law as well as any man, but she can’t use her knowledge or skills in the courtroom due to her gender – until her brother convinces her to disguise herself as a man in order to save their family’s reputation and livelihood. Lord Lawrence Byron enjoys a brilliant career as a barrister. He never loses in court – until he argues a case against a new barrister, Ross Carrow. Determined to learn all he can about the man who bested him, he never imagines that this talented and intriguing legal mind actually belongs to a woman, who is as captivating as she is clever. Soon the professional respect Rosamund and Lawrence feel for each other turns to something far more intimate and personal.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for this series?

Tracy:  The three books now in print – The Bedding Proposal, Happily Bedded Bliss and Bedchamber Games – complete The Rakes of Cavendish Squares series. They also complete the Byrons of Braebourne arc, which includes eight novels and one short story.

TRC: What challenges do you face with switching between Contemporary and Regency romances?

Tracy:  When I first wrote my Graysons series contemporaries – The Last Man on Earth, The Man Plan and Mad About the Man – I didn’t think I would have to do as much research as I usually do for a successful historical. I was mistaken. Careful research is just as necessary for contemporary novels as it is for historical. One of the challenges of writing historical romance is that no one living today can really know what life was truly like during the period being depicted – in my case the English Regency. So, as an author, I research the life and times of the period in order to create, what I hope is, a believable Regency world. The challenge of a contemporary romance is that everyone living today knows what modern life is like. Yet everyone’s life is not the same; so, as an author, I have to research the nuances of current times in order to develop unique – and believable – contemporary characters.

Another challenge is the language used in each subgenre. I have to watch to make sure my historical lexicon and Regency era voice don’t creep into my contemporaries and vice versa. American set contemporaries need to sound modern and American with modern slang and dialects, not British and turn-of-the-nineteenth-century. Both subgenres have their own challenges; there’s ‘no free lunch’ when writing either.

TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2017?

Tracy:  Currently, I’m between contracts, so Bedchamber Games will be my only published novel for 2017. I’ll let my readers know what’s next as soon as I know.

TRC: How long does it usually take you to write a book from start to finish?  Are there different types of stories that take you longer to write?

Tracy:  My goal is to write a full-length Regency novel in six months with additional time for any rewrites requested by my editor, copy edits and reading the final proof. My novels never seem to take less time; however, a story may take longer, if there’s an unusual amount of research necessary. This was the case with Bedchamber Games. I spent many more hours than usual learning about the English legal system in the Regency period in preparation for writing Lawrence and Rosamund’s story.

TRC: What is your favorite place and time to write?

Tracy:  I have an office, which is where I do my writing. I prefer writing later in the day and generally work until 10 o’clock in the evening and sometimes later.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Tracy:  It’s been lots of fun having the chance to chat with you and all the book lovers at The Reading Café. I hope your readers enjoy Bedchamber Games, the last of the Byrons of Braebourne and Rakes of Cavendish Square novels. I’ve loved writing about the Byron family; they are very near and dear to my heart. As for the future, I’m looking forward to starting a new series soon, one I hope my readers will also enjoy!

TRC: Thank you Tracy for giving us an update on the Rakes of Cavendish Square. It was a pleasure having you visit us again. We wish you the best of luck with Bedchamber Games.

Tracy:  It’s been my pleasure, too. Thank you for inviting me to join you. I look forward to chatting with you again sometime soon!

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Seduced by Sin by Kris Rafferty – a Review

Seduced by Sin by Kris Rafferty – a Review

 

Seduced by SinAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
When Caleb Smith saved Francesca Hamilton from a nasty situation with her father, she was beyond grateful. Sure, it landed her in Caleb’s bed wearing his engagement ring, but neither of them took that seriously. It was a means to an end, and he was so sexy and exciting, she was enjoying the ride. It wasn’t Caleb’s fault her feelings were changing, leaving her wishing things between them were real rather than pretend.

Caleb took the FBI’s assignment because he wanted to end the tyranny of a man who’d hurt the people he loved. Odds of success were slim and the danger high, but he knew the risks. Francesca didn’t and was completely in the dark about her family’s “business.” And the more time he spends with her, the harder he falls for the gorgeous blonde. But to finally get retribution, he’ll have to destroy her world…

 

 

Review:

Seduced by Sin begins with Caleb sizing up the competition at a party hosted by Francesca Hamilton’s father in her honor.  He’s been in the Hamilton home for a week having meetings with Jonathan Hamilton.  Hamilton is a billionaire who has discovered he’s dying and wants to find someone to head up his international business interests and, unbeknownst to Francesca (his only child), the person he picks will also wed his beautiful daughter.  Francesca feels she has never lived up to her father’s expectations.  He is cold and aloof and never has time to spend one on one with her.  Caleb has one objective: gain Jonathan Hamilton’s confidence.  Unknown to Francesca, her father’s businesses are anything but above board.  Caleb, however, knows what a monster her father is.  Caleb also knows that in order to “win”, he’ll have to seduce Francesca in order to gain the upper hand.  What he ends up gaining is more than he could have ever imagined.

Francesca has seen Caleb around the house during the past week, and is curious about him.  When Caleb finally approaches her, their attraction to each other is palpable.  However, when they are both called into her father’s office, Francesca learns that she is to wed whomever her father picks because that is the only way (her father’s words) he knows that she’ll be safe.  When Francesca refuses to marry the one her father chose, she blurts out that she wants Caleb.  For some reason, she trusts him to keep her safe in a world that she truly has no idea how to navigate.  Caleb and Francesca discuss their options and agree to keep up the ruse in order for Caleb to get what he wants and for Francesca to skirt her father’s wrath when he realizes she’s not marrying anyone.  There was something neither counted on…….being seduced by sin.

Seduced by Sin is a wonderfully written tale wrought full of mystery, intrigue and some hot romance.  Francesca is not a poor little rich girl.  She’s college educated and has her future mapped out in her mind.  All of that came to a halt when her father got sick, so she came home to spend time with him.  Let’s just say, that didn’t work out like she thought it would.  Then, there’s Caleb.  Oh my sweet Jesus.  He’s one of the best I’ve read about in a long time.  We know a little about him from the last book, Tempted by a Touch.  He had a tough childhood and eventually became a grifter, as in one of the best.  That’s how he ended up working for the FBI.  The last grift he and his best friend, Marnie, ran went south and people ended up dead.  That was ten years ago, but you know what they say about the past catching up with you.  Let’s just say his did in a big way.  When Francesca ends up in danger, Caleb soon realizes that he may have been on the receiving end of a grift that could very well get them both killed.  I absolutely loved this book and could not turn the pages fast enough.  Well done, Kris Rafferty!  Very, very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Masquerading with the Billionaire by Alexia Adams – a Review

Masquerading with the Billionaire by Alexia Adams – a Review

 

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Description:
World-renowned jewelry designer Remington Wolfe is competing for the commission of a lifetime and someone is trying to destroy his company from the inside. He’s in for more than one surprise when his unexpected rescuer turns out to be a sexy computer specialist with a sharp tongue and even sharper mind.

Kat Smith is a cyber-security expert and master of disguise. So being assigned to masquerade as Wolfe’s girlfriend while she uncovers who slipped malicious code into his corporation’s computer systems is no problem. But when Kat’s past catches up to her and their fake relationship starts to feel a little too real, problems are all she seems to have.

 

Review;

This is my first Alexia Adams book I’ve read and I believe it won’t be the last. I really enjoyed Alexia’s storytelling in Masquerading with the Billionaire.  It was a fast fun read that kept me on the edge of my seat with an air of mystery and intrigue that surrounds our heroine Kat throughout the book keeping us in suspense regarding her true identity.  To add to this air of mystery and intrigue we have one very sexy and intense hero in Remington Steele Wolf.  Yes that’s his full name, and I LOL at it the first time we first learn of it, love it!!  Together Kat and Wolfe form a formidable pair both in the bedroom and the office.  Their scenes together are wrought full of flirty banter and sexual tension that gets more intense with each passing scene.  You know it’s only a matter of time before these two fall into each other’s arms and when they finally do, they burn up the pages.  Their romance is a flirty, fun, and steamy one to say the least.  However, all the while the truth of who Kat really is keeps looming over them making it harder and harder for Kat to keep her emotions and feelings for Wolfe at bay. 

Alexia not only writes a steamy romance in this one, she’s also written a story chalked full of emotion that pours off the pages and makes us want to see Kat change her fate, find her sister, and finally get all that she deserves.  Kat’s backstory about where she came from and what she went through to get to where she is now tugs at the heartstrings and wants to see her and Wolfe win at love.  Not only is Kat struggling with her growing feelings, but so too is Wolfe thanks to his passion, dreams and driving ambition to become ‘The’ world’s best jewelry designer.  Thanks to his ambition and dream he’s always kept personal relationships to a minimum and just sexual.  He never allows himself to bring feelings into a relationship thanks to one relationship that left a bitter taste in his mouth. However, the more time he spends with Kat he realizes there’s more to relationships then just sex, and starts to think that maybe, just maybe he can have both, love and his dream.  He’s also discovered that thanks to Kat his passion for creating and designing his jewelry takes on a whole new meaning, as she seems to have become his muse.  All together now,  awww. Isn’t Wolfe a sweetie? Tough exterior, but inside he’s a teddy bear with a heart of gold. 

I really enjoyed Masquerading with the Billionaire. The story is well thought out with a good amount of suspense, intrigue, passion, emotion and a side of flirty playfulness to balance it all out.  It makes for a page-turner of a story where you can’t put the book down for one minute because you need to know what’s going to happen next.  I just love these kinds of stories.  They keep me interested from beginning to end and then wanting more when I’ve read the last line.  Looking forward to reading more by Alexia Adams.

Until next time, happy reading everyone!

Reviewed by Marcie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Legally Charming by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

Legally Charming by Lauren Smith – Review & Giveaway

Legally Charming BAnner

 

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DESCRIPTION
THE RIGHT DRESS CAN CATCH THE EYE OF PRINCE CHARMING… 

Felicity Hart has one goal: Completing her masters in art. Falling in love isn’t part of the plan. She reluctantly agrees to attend a Halloween party with her best friend. After sneaking away from the party and falling asleep in an unoccupied room, she wakes to the sexiest pair of eyes she’s ever seen. Eyes that belong to the one man who could turn her well organized world upside down. When he flashes that wicked, panty-melting smile at her the vow to not fall in love seems impossible… 

EVERY PRINCE IS LOOKING FOR HIS SLEEPING BEAUTY TO KISS… 

Jared Redmond used to be the ultimate bad boy. But now his legal career is taking off and the partners of his firm are trusting him with high-dollar real estate transactions. Jared’s king-size bed is empty. But when he arrives home on Halloween to find a princess sleeping in his bed – his all work and no play attitude goes out the window. There’s nothing he wants more than to explore the hidden desires of this mysterious beauty and show her just how much of a bad boy he really is by fulfilling her every fantasy. 

WHEN MIDNIGHT STRIKES AND COACHES TURN TO PUMPKINS… 

Underneath the glitter of this fairy tale romance, Felicity and Jared might have found true love. But the mounting pressure of their real lives takes hold again and Jared and Felicity are pulled further and further apart. Can they find their fairy tale ending or will they be left with the dying embers of what could have been? 

REVIEW

4.5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Another amazing book from Lauren Smith.  I am in absolute love with her historical romance series, and it is always wonderful to find a fave author is just as good in another genre of romance! 🙂

Legally Charming by Lauren Smith is the first book in her “Ever After” contemporary romance series.  Two people who were not expecting or hoping for love, come to find it whether they like it or not, and it knocks them right off their concrete path of life and onto a bumpy, full of adventure and “who knows what is going to happen” road.

Felicity Hart is a sweet, kind and a little naive woman who aspires to complete her graduate degree and move to a dream job to start her life.  She ends up getting dragged to a Halloween party by her friend, and finds herself in a strange predicament before the night is over.  She is laying in bed with this incredibly hot guy!  

Jared Redmond is our incredible hot guy.  LOL!  Jared is a lawyer who is aspiring to make partner at his firm, he is sure of himself, somewhat of a reputable bad boy, and comes home to a Halloween party one night to find this beautiful woman sleeping, in his bed. 

Neither of them are looking for love .. but love is about to find them!

Off we go on sweet love adventure of sorts.  Both try to fight it in their own ways, but there is a pull that keeps them coming back for more.  Outside circumstances, blackmail, and insecurity are just some of the odds stacked against them, but love has a sneaky way of squirming it’s way in a prevailing over all obstacles.  These two are in for a sweet surprise.

This is truely a lovely romance story with a side of heat.  My only complaint was it was a little too much predictable in story.  That being said, what was predicted in my mind was well delivered and written.  This is fairy tale like in a contemporary setting.  Sweet girl tames bad boy!  I absolutely loved the secondary characters as well and am really hoping that Lauren decides to give them their own stories.

Overall, an easy, fun, light and very sweet read.  If you like a good ole contemporary romance then I highly recommend this book.  I also will take the time to tell you to read her historical romance series as well .. because that is FANTASTIC!  

HAPPY READING! 🙂

Reviewed by Rachel

Copy supplied for review

 

giveaway

Lauren is graciously offering a $25.00 Gift Card 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.

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

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

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7. Giveaway open Internationally

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Her Secret Ranger by Donna Michaels – a Review

Her Secret Ranger by Donna Michaels – a Review

 

Her Secret RangerAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Kissing the sexy soldier was a dare she couldn’t resist…

By-the-book event planner Beth Brannigan’s best friend dared her to kiss a cowboy. She should have said no. Instead, she said please…again and again. If her brother finds out she’s dating—okay, kissing—okay, sleeping with—one of his military buddies, he’ll kill her. Assuming he doesn’t kill his friend first.

Former Army Ranger Brick Mitchum isn’t a relationship kind of guy. But then he meets Beth and starts to wonder if maybe it’s time he settled down. She’s mysterious. Unpredictable. Curvy in every way he needs… And hiding something. He’s just got to figure out what.

 

Review:

Her Secret Ranger is book two in The Men of At Ease Ranch series by Donna Michaels.  Brick Mitchum is a former Army Ranger who runs the At Ease Ranch with his brother Stone and some Ranger friends. He respects his Ranger friends and respects the brother code that goes along with that. While he usually stays away from relationships – opting for one night stands that usually end after the sex is over.  He has definitely earned his nickname “Romeo.” Never one to even spend an entire night with a girl – but this last one – Beth – he just can’t seem to get her off of his mind.

Beth Brannigan is a follow the rules event planner.  Usually the one doing all the work while her boss takes all the credit.  She goes with the flow and gets her work done and she is good at what she does.  She has come to Joyful, Texas on work in the past and now is here for an extended stay to help her friend Rachel with her wedding, and to spend some time with her brother Cord. 

But Cord is quite secretive about his life here and not overly willing to allow “Lizzie” as he calls her to meet his friends. He knows how his buddies are and he doesn’t want to chance one of them falling for his sister.  But now that his best friends have significant others he has no issue with bringing her around to meet them.  And Beth wants nothing more than to get to know her brother again and see what occupies his time.

When Beth is out at the Braxton fairgrounds  with her friend Rachel, among a sea of handsome cowboys they discuss just how out of the dating scene Beth is.  And on a whim – Rachel decides to play a game of truth or dare with her.  When Beth can’t tell the truth she takes the dare.  Rachel dares  her to kiss the next cowboy through the nearby gate.  When she turns around Beth sees the most delicious cowboy she has ever seen, she doesn’t blink twice to follow through with the dare. In fact it was a dare she couldn’t resist. Her sexy cowboy and her actually hooked up a few weeks ago when she was last in town and she has no qualms about kissing him again, in fact she delights in the thought of it.

After the kiss knocks the cowboy and herself for a loop they want nothing more than to spend more time together. And that they do.  But on a trip out to Brick’s ranch he is explaining to her that he co-owns the ranch with some Army Ranger friends and caters to the needs of returning war veterans. And then it dawns on her – that is exactly what her brother does. Her overly protective Army Ranger brother.  The one that will never allow her to date a military man, because he knows how they are and how hard military relationships can be.

Caught between what she feels for Brick and what she knows will happen once her brother finds out – Beth is on a whirlwind to try and spend what remaining time she know she has left with Brick before both he and her brother find out the truth.  Because she knows that Army friendships mean more than any woman. And that Brick will never break the brother code and date his friends sister.  But she has fallen for her secret Ranger and isn’t quite sure how to tell the truth to Brick or her brother.

I enjoyed both book one and two in this series.  The main characters are solid and honest.  Their relationship is real and wonderful.  The Mitchum brothers are true military in their beliefs and morals and I love how that follows through the entire series.  The sub-characters are just as amazing and you want to know everything about them and you want them all to weather their personal storms and find happiness.  I have never been one to even consider reading any kind of military romance – it  just was never an interest.  These books have changed my mind and I look forward to reading more in this series.  I love that Lula Belle continued her antics in this story and made me laugh out loud.  I also spent several pages crying at the end of this book.  The story is emotional, and the connection real.  The author definitely can spin a tale of love and romance with just the right amount of amazing sex scenes.

Reviewed by Erin

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – a Review

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – a Review

 

The Roanoke GirlsAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
 
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.
 
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
 
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

Review:

Did you wake up screaming?…Was it a nightmare?”

 “Did you wake up screaming? Was it a nightmare?”
 I shook my head, confused and a little scared.  “No.”
“Then it was nothing like that.”

Nightmares are the least of concerns; losing sleep a luxury in comparison to the knowledge, and experience, of surviving in the house Roanoke built.  Amy Engel crafts a book equal parts compelling and disturbing.  The Roanoke Girls details a family dynamic, a cycle of abuse without limit or censure, until one resolves to face the demons and expose the plague.  This story is cringe-worthy, but so artfully written, you’ll feel its haunting beauty.   

“My head knows this place is no good for me, but my stupid, traitorous heart sings HOME.

Lane Roanoke is going back home to Kansas.  Only, you’re not supposed to go home again, right?  Or does Oz always welcome you back?  Trust me when I say Roanoke is light years away from fantasy.  When Lane’s cousin, Allegra, goes missing, Granddad summons Lane home.  Ten years ago, Lane ran away from Roanoke, vowing to stay away from her cryptic family.  But guilt, its “dirty fingers under [her] skin” have forced Lane to return.  Only Allegra could revive Lane enough to revisit this hell.  Allegra, the rebellious, reckless, spirited cousin whose mysterious disappearance reopens wounds and shines a light on silent, insidious corruption.

Don’t think me dramatic, but I don’t think I can say much more.  Amy Engel parses out pivotal memories that stem from a malignant root, but the identity isn’t the most startling.  To quote Ms. Engel, “it’s the WHY of it” that brings the story to full culmination. You will hear varying degrees of blame, tainted versions every one, but “life picks away at all of us, backs us into corners we never anticipated.  Turns us into people we never thought we’d become.”  A riveting story of innocence lost.

The Roanoke Girls were born into an underbelly of family taboo cloaked in dark seduction and heartbreaking complacency.  Amy Engel weaves in light and hope in the most desperate of times.  I told her The Roanoke Girls was memorable, but now I can honestly add recommendable.  

Reviewed by Carmen

Copy provided by Publisher

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